GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG men’s soccer suffered a 2-1 loss at home to the ETSU Buccaneers Saturday night at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. The match featured two of the top defenses in the Southern Conference as a total of just 16 shots were allowed by both teams in the contest. The Spartans fall to 6-6-2 overall, and 3-2-1 in the SoCon. ETSU improves to 6-2-5 and 3-0-3 in SoCon action.
Eric Gunnarsson (Falkenberg, Sweden) and Matt Mattis (Little Stoke, England/St. Bede’s Catholic) led the Spartan attack with a pair of shots each. Leeroy Maguraushe (Milton Keynes, England/Stantonbury), Matteo Busio (Greensboro, N.C./Western Guilford) and Nelson Oceano (Berlin, Germany/Sportschule Olympiapark) each added shots, with Gunnarsson the only one able to sneak past the ETSU keeper. Oceano recorded his third assist in the contest.
Jon Milligan (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) played all 90 minutes in goal, recoding four saves in the contest, three of which came in the second half.
In the first half, each team was limited to just one quality chance. The Spartans’ chance came in the 26th minute as Maguraushe played a ball in to Oceano who connected on a shot from eight yards out, but the ETSU keeper was able to deflect the shot away.
Though limited, the Spartan offense found the back of the net once. Gunnarsson scored the Spartans goal in minute 57 following a corner from Oceano. Oceano played the corner to the far post and Gunnarsson was able to elevate over the ETSU defender, heading the pass off the crossbar and in for the goal.
ETSU answered the Spartan goal in the 63rd minute of play. The Bucs played a ball into the box, about eight yards from goal, Fletcher Ekern hammered a shot, but Milligan was there to deflect the ball away. Danny Barlow corralled the rebound and got a shot past the UNCG defense for the equalizer.
UNCG looked like it was able to take the lead in the 81st minute after Oceano was able to find the netting, but the goal was waived off as the Spartans were called for an offside.
The Bucs took the lead in the 83rd minute. Ben Holt played a ball into the box from deep on the right side. Luke Parker gathered the pass and snuck a shot past the Spartan keeper’s left side to take the lead.
The Spartans are back in action Tuesday night as it heads to Spartanburg, South Carolina for a matchup with the Wofford Terriers at 7 p.m. on the SoCon Digital Network.