No. 15 Menís Soccer Falls To Coastal Carolina, 4-2
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Despite a goal and an assist from senior forward Brian Graham (Bowie, Md./Bowie), the No. 15 UNCG men’s soccer team dropped a hard fought 4-2 decision to visiting Coastal Carolina Saturday night in front of 1,277 fans at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
Coastal Carolina, which is receiving votes in the national polls, opened the scoring in the 16th minute of play. Ricky Garbanzo ripped a shot from 12 yards out that redshirt goalkeeper Stephen Moffitt (Burlington, N.C./Williams) was able to make a diving save on, but the rebound bounced out to the back post where Agust Arnarson pounced on the ball and put it into the back of the net for the early 1-0 lead.
The Spartans tied the game in the 26th minute of action when junior David Reittinger (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest) was able to win the ball in the midfield and send Graham in behind the Coastal Carolina defense. Graham took the ball in front of the on-charging Chanticleer goalkeeper Devin Cook and chipped it over his head, dropping it softly into the goal for his first of the season.
UNCG looked like it would go into the locker room tied after 45 minutes, but Coastal Carolina scored a late goal in the half as Pedro Ribeiro scored off a corner kick for the 2-1 lead. The Chanticleers used that momentum to open the second half and were rewarded a penalty kick in the 49th minute after a UNCG handball in the box. Garbanzo stepped up and calmly placed the shot into the back of the net for the 3-1 lead.
After Coastal Carolina took a 4-1 lead, the Spartans started to press down the stretch and their pressure led to a goal in the 70th minute. Graham sent a through ball from the 20-yards out diagonally that found forward Dustin Gamradt (Kiel, Germany/Hebbleschule) behind the defense. Gamradt deftly poked the shot past Cook for his first goal of the season and second of his career to make it a 4-2 game.
The Spartans looked primed to make it a one-goal game shortly after their second goal. Graham again got behind the Coastal Carolina defense and tangled with Cook one-on-one. He was able to get around the diving goalkeeper and hit a shot that was saved off the line by a Chanticleer defender to thwart the comeback bid.
Moffitt posted three saves in the loss in his fifth career start while Cooke picked up one save but was helped by the crucial team save down the stretch.
UNCG returns to action Tuesday night as it travels to nationally ranked Clemson. Game time is set for 7 p.m. on the road.
- UNCG -