GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s soccer team posted its fourth straight shutout and has not allowed a goal in a span of 442:65 after the Spartans travelled to preseason Southern Conference favorite and defending champion ETSU Tuesday night and brought home a hard-fought point in a double overtime 0-0 tie at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
UNCG has not allowed a goal since the first half of its game against Presbyterian Sept. 9. Junior goalkeeper Jon Milligan (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) finished the night with two saves to earn his conference-leading fifth shutout of the season. He lowered his league-leading goals against average to 0.74 on the year and increased his SoCon-leading save percentage to .816. The tie raises the Spartans’ overall record to 3-4-2 on the year and 0-0-1 in league play as they return home Saturday night to face rival Furman. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
The two teams played a tightly-contested affair from the start in the conference opener as ETSU held a slim 3-2 edge in shots in the first half. The Spartans had the game’s early chances with junior midfielder Leeroy Maguraushe (Milton Keynes, England) having the game’s first chance in the 23rd minute of action. Maguraushe found a little daylight at the top of the 18-yard box but his shot sailed just wide of goal.
ETSU (3-2-3, 0-0-1) started to generate some chances early in the second half as Fletcher Ekern tallied four shots in the second half and the Bucs out-shot UNCG 11-6 in the half. UNCG’s defense smothered the Bucs all night long though, as a majority of the chances for ETSU were well out of harm’s way or fired off the mark.
The Spartans best chance in the second half came in the 57th minute off a corner kick. Maguraushe sent a long ball into the box where ETSU goalkeeper Jonny Sutherland came out to handle it, but he bobbled the ball and it fell inside the six-yard box. Freshman forward Thordur Johannesson (Hafnarfjordur, Iceland) lunged at the loose ball and poked it towards goal in traffic, but Sutherland scrambled to put a glove on it to keep it out of the net.
The Spartans kept the Bucs at bay for much of the second half and used their depth to send the game into overtime, playing 23 total players in the game, compared to just 15 for ETSU. The Bucs had the best chance in the first overtime period as Ekern was able to turn on a defender and fire a shot from 15-yards just wide of the far post in the 93rd minute of play.
UNCG had the game’s final and arguably best chance in the 108th minute of play. Sophomore Tevyn Henry (Franklin, Tenn./Centennial) made a run down the left-hand side and ripped a cross into the box. Junior forward Matt Mattis (Little Stoke, England) rose above his defender and got a head on the cross but his shot went just inches wide of the far post to send the game into a scoreless draw.
-- UNCG --