Spartans close out regular season against UNCW on Senior Day 10-30-2011

GREENSBORO, N.C.—With the Southern Conference regular season title now firmly in their grasp, UNCG men's soccer squad closes out the 2011 regular season when they host UNC Wilmington in a non-conference affair, 7 p.m., Tuesday at UNCG Soccer Stadium.

It's "Senior Day" for the Spartans as seniors Kris Byrd and Will Mack will be honored in pregame ceremonies.

UNCG (8-7-1) clinched its seventh SoCon regular season championship with a 1-0 win at Elon on Saturday. Freshman Cameron Owens scored the championship-clinching goal in the 82nd minute to give the Spartans their second straight title.

UNC Wilimgton enters Tuesday's match with a 3-12-1 overall record. The Seahawks have scored just 16 goals this season, with Thomas Driver and Jack Ward scoring three each.

UNCW goalkeeper Brandon Miller owns a 1.71 goals-against average.

Junior forward Hakan Ilhan continues to lead the Spartans' offense, ranking second in the SoCon in goals (9) and points (21). Freshman Austin Miller enjoyed a stellar week for the Spartans, scoring two goals and adding three assists. Miller owns six goals and four assists for the season.

Peyton Ford's strong season in goal continued last week with a pair of shutouts. In last Tuesday's 5-0 win over Georgia Southern Ford became UNCG's Division I career leader in shutouts with 15, and he added his 16th on Saturday at Elon. Ford leads the SoCon in goals-against average (0.63) and has posted shutouts in each of his last five starts.

After Tuesday the Spartans open defense of their 2010 SoCon Tournament championship when they host Wofford, 7 p.m., Saturday in the first round of the conference tournament.

Spartan Storylines
•    Head coach Justin Maullin is 20-13-5 (.592) in his second season with the Spartans, including 9-2-3 (.750) in SoCon games
•    Tuesday's match is the 12th meeting in the series between the Spartans and the Seahawks, with UNCW holding a 6-5-0 advantage in the series. This is the first meeting since Sept. 20, 2008 when UNCG earned a 1-0 result in Greensboro.
•    Junior goalkeeper Peyton Ford earned his 15th career shutout last Tuesday against Georgia Southern, passing current assistant coach Jay Benfield (2001-05) to become UNCG's all-time leader in Division I shutouts. Following his shutout at Elon, Ford now has 16 career shutouts. Tim Borer (1982-83) owns the overall career mark of 26 shutouts.
•    Benfield was the last Spartan keeper to post a sub-1.00 goals-against average, finishing the 2005 season at 0.83. Ford (0.63) is on pace to best the UNCG Division I-era record.




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