GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s soccer team enters Saturday night in sole possession of first place in the Southern Conference standings, setting the table for a pivotal meeting between the Spartans and ETSU at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. Game time Saturday is set for 7 p.m. and admission is free. The game will be streamed on ESPN3 and the ESPN App with Phil Cox and former Spartan alum Joe Burnett on the call. Links will be available at www.uncgspartans.com.
The Spartans enter the game in sole possession of first place in the Southern Conference standings with a 3-1-1 record, good for 10 points. ETSU enters the game in second place in the league with a 2-0-3 record, good for nine points. The game has pivotal league implications after the two teams posted a tie earlier this year in Johnson City.
Saturday's game marks the 14th meeting between UNCG and ETSU in program history and the 11th meeting since the Bucs returned to the SoCon in 2014. The two teams have met 10 times in the last three years with varying degrees of results. In 2014, the Spartans won three games against the Bucs – two in the regular season and one in the postseason. In 2015, the teams tied all three times they met with ETSU advancing in the SoCon Tournament on penalty kicks. Last year, ETSU won three times against the Spartans, including knocking off the Spartans in the league tournament in Greensboro.
Earlier this season, the Spartans went into Johnson City and came home with a point, posting a scoreless tie with the Bucs. Junior goalkeeper Jon Milligan (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) posted two saves in the shutout while Jonny Sutherland notched three saves for ETSU.
The Spartans enter this weekend’s game with a 6-5-2 overall record and a 3-1-1 mark in Southern Conference play. Over its last eight games, UNCG owns a 6-1-1 record dating back to Sept. 16. The Spartans hold down the top spot in the SoCon with 10 total points and have won back-to-back games with wins at Mercer and VMI. UNCG has scored 12 goals in 13 games while only allowing nine goals against.
Nine different Spartans have scored goals this season with junior forward Matt Mattis (Little Stoke, England) leading the way with three goals. Junior midfielder Leeroy Maguraushe (Milton Keynes, England) leads the team with seven points on the strength of two goals and three assists. Milligan has played every minute in goal for the Spartans at 1233:14. He leads the SoCon with a 0.66 goals against average, eight shutouts and an .816 save percentage. Milligan ranks second in the entire nation with eight shutouts, trailing only Indiana's Trey Muse (10).
ETSU enters Saturday's game with a 5-2-5 overall record and a 2-0-3 mark in Southern Conference play. The Buccaneers have posted back-to-back scoreless ties against Furman and Mercer at home. ETSU has posted three scoreless ties this season all at home in league play. The Bucs have scored 15 goals in 12 games this season while allowing 11 goals against.
Twelve different Buccaneers have scored goals this season with five different players scoring at least two goals. Nick Spielman leads the team with three goals and an assist while Bruno Andrade has dished out a team-high five assists while adding a goal. Sutherland has played all 1201:21 in goal and owns a 0.82 goals against average. He is second in the SoCon with six shutouts and a .796 save percentage. Sutherland has not allowed a goal over the last 363:50, dating back to Sept. 30 win over Wofford.
-- UNCG --