Spartans take over SoCon lead with 5-0 win over Georgia Southern
For post-game comments by head coach Justin Maullin click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C.—UNCG men's soccer needed a win and some help to stay alive in the Southern Conference regular-season race. The Spartans got both on Tuesday night.
Hakan Ilhan and Austin Miller each scored twice, Oddur Gudmundsson added three assists and a goal of his own, and Peyton Ford recorded his fourth straight shutout as UNCG posted a 5-0 victory over SoCon-leading Georgia Southern. Coupled with Appalachian State's 1-0 home loss to Wofford, the Spartans are alone atop the conference standings with one match remaining.
The Spartans can clinch their second straight SoCon regular season title with either a win Saturday at Elon, or an Appalachian State loss at Davidson the same day.
Miller opened the scoring for UNCG (7-7-1 overall, 4-1-1 SoCon) in the 37th minute, finding the back of the net from the right side on the first of Gudmundsson's three assists to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
Ilhan upped UNCG's lead to 2-0 in the 56th minute, working a perfect give-and-go with Gudmundsson for 15 yards out.
Instead of sitting back on the lead the Spartans kept attacking, finally breaking the match open with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Miller made it a 3-0 affair in the 82nd minute when he scored off a thru ball by Gudmundsson. Miller and C.J. Shook assisted Ilhan's second goal of the match in the 85th minute to make it 4-0, and Gudmundsson found the back of the net just over a minute later, thanks in part to an assist by Miller.
But it wasn't just the offense that helped the Spartans to victory. UNCG's defense kept the conference's top offense off the board, and held league-leading scorer Luigi Clendenning (13 goals) to just one shot attempt. The Spartans posted their fifth shutout in conference play with Ford making three saves on 11 shots.
Ford also became UNCG's all-time leader in Division I shutouts with 15, passing current assistant coach Jay Benfield on the list. Ford lowered his season goals-against average to 0.67.
Georgia Southern (8-7-1, 4-3-0) goalkeeper Ryan Platt made two saves while facing 12 shots as the Eagles played their final regular season conference match.
The Spartans close out conference play Saturday when they visit Elon at 7 p.m.
Georgia Southern (8-7-1, 4-3-0 SoCon) vs. UNCG (7-7-1, 4-1-1 SoCon)
Date: Oct 25, 2011 Attendance: 782
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Georgia Southern.... 0 0 - 0
UNCG................ 1 4 - 5
1. 36:49 UNCG Austin Miller (5) (Oddur Gudmundsson)
2. 55:39 UNCG Hakan Ilhan (8) (Oddur Gudmundsson) - Give-and-go from 20-yards out
3. 81:16 UNCG Austin Miller (6) (Oddur Gudmundsson) - Thru ball, off right post and in
4. 84:40 UNCG Hakan Ilhan (9) (Austin Miller;C.J. Shook) - Pass from 24 to 23, shot from left by 7
5. 85:56 UNCG Oddur Gudmundsson (3) (Austin Miller)
Shots: Georgia Southern 11, UNCG 12
Saves: Georgia Southern 2 (Ryan Platt 2), UNCG 3 (Peyton Ford 3)