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GREENSBORO, N.C.- Making its longest trip of the regular season, UNCG men’s soccer on Saturday evening was unable to overcome an early two-goal deficit before falling to UTRGV by a final of 2-1 in Edinburg, Texas. The Spartans are now 2-3-0 through the first five games of the season.

“It was another game of two halves for us,” said Head Coach Justin Maullin. “Didn't come to play in the first half and dominated play in the second half. We need to put two good halves together now and get ready for a tough ACC team.”

The Spartans went into the halftime break down 2-0 as UNCG gave up goals 10 and 39 minutes into the first half. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Ricky Zarri faced a total of seven shots but was unable to stop attempts by Kyle Edwards and Will Akio, as the pair were able to net goals. 

Despite falling behind, UNCG remained resilient in the second half and was aggressive in the final-third of the field as the Spartans collected almost three times as many shots as UTRGV, but were only able to score one goal. 

In the 53rd minute, junior forward Faisal Almubaslat found the back of the net for the first time this season as the Summerfield, N.C., native took advantage of a loose ball in front of the net to give the Spartans their lone goal on the evening.

It was Almubaslat’s seventh career goal as he scored three goals in both of his first two seasons at UNCG. Sophomore Manny Apau was credited with the assist.

With his goal, Almubaslat became the seventh Spartan to register a goal this season while Apau now has two career assists.

Senior goalkeeper Jon Milligan, meanwhile, played the entire second half in his second appearance this season. In 60 minutes this year, Milligan has yet to concede a goal.

The Spartans will return home for a Tuesday evening match against the current No. 21 team in the country, Virginia Tech. Through five games, the Hokies remain undefeated as they’ve defeated Air Force, Gardner-Webb and South Florida along with tying UCF and No. 10 Virginia.

The matchup will be the 16th all-time meeting between the Spartans and Hokies with UNCG currently holding a 10-5 series lead. In the last contest between the two schools, UNCG defeated Virginia Tech 1-0 in double overtime to open the 2015 season.

The two schools also met in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, with UNCG notching a 2-1 victory.

The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

-- UNCG –