Early Goal Lifts Menís Soccer Over Longwood, 1-0
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Junior forward David Reittinger (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest) scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season in the fourth minute of the game to lead the UNCG men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over visiting Longwood Saturday night at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Stephen Moffitt (Burlington, N.C./Williams) posted his fifth shutout of the season with five saves, including one on a Longwood penalty kick in the first half.
The Spartans came out of the gate with energy and put pressure on the Lancers from the first whistle. Senior forward Brian Graham (Bowie, Md./Bowie) had a pair of chances just 3:25 into the game as he had his first shot blocked by a Longwood defender before ripping the rebound back on goal but goalkeeper Carlos Canas was there to make a diving save.
The Spartans’ momentum continued after the early chances as UNCG found the back of the net just 3:51 into the game. The Spartans sent a long ball into the 18-yard box where Graham was able to bring it down and possess the ball with a defender on his back. He held the defender at bay before laying it off to Reittinger who buried it in the back of the net from 12 yards out past a helpless Canas for the 1-0 lead. Reittinger’s goal is his team-leading fourth of the season and third of the year at home at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
Longwood weathered the early storm and started to gain traction. The Lancers were awarded a penalty kick in the 18th minute as the Spartans’ pulled down a player in the box. Brian Henry stepped up to take the penalty kick for the Lancers and ripped a shot into the bottom left corner, but Moffitt made a full-extension, diving save to keep the Spartans in the lead.
The Spartans controlled play for most of the first half, holding an 8-5 edge in shot heading into the locker room. UNCG had a quality chance in the 64th minute when forward Dustin Gamradt (Kiel, Germany/Hebbleschule) found space behind the defense and sent a shot from 12 yards out just over the cross bar.
UNCG had a prime chance just minutes later off a set piece as sophomore Lukas Zarges (Freidrichsdorf, Germany/Phillip Reis Schulle) sent a bending ball to the top of the six-yard box. Freshman defender Hugo Coicaud (Le Harve, France/Saint-Joseph) got to the ball first and was able to poke a shot onto goal from six-yards out with his long reach, but Canas as able to knock it down to keep it a one-goal game.
Longwood started to find some chances in the final 10 minutes as it pushed for the equalizer. Anthony Ugorji took a long ball in the 18-yard box and made a little space before ripping a shot on goal but Moffitt was there to thwart the effort.
The Lancers had their best scoring chance of the night with just 1:52 left in regulation. Longwood sent the ball into the box and after it bounced around, Jonathan Kukapa sent it to the far post past Moffitt. Zarges was on the goal line and calmly cleared it off before it crossed to preserve the Spartans’ victory.
The Spartans improve to 5-4-0 with the victory with all five of their victories coming as shutouts. UNCG is out-scoring opponents 8-0 in its victories while being out-scored 2-10 in its losses. Longwood falls to 1-4-2 on the season and was playing its first road game since the first weekend of September.
UNCG hits the road for a pair of non-conference games next week, beginning Tuesday night as it travels to Georgia State for a 7 p.m. contest.
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