BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Down two goals with less than 20 minutes left in regulation, the UNCG men’s soccer team rallied for two late goals to come away with a hard fought 2-2 tie at hosting Campbell Saturday night. The Spartans out-shot the Camels 13-5 after the first 45 minutes of the game to remain unbeaten against Campbell in the past 12 meetings, posting a 9-0-3 record over that stretch.
Campbell came out of the gate quickly as it scored two goals in the first 20 minutes of action on family weekend in Buies Creek. The Camels scored the game’s first goal in the 14th minute as Ricki Gaez scored on a counter attack beating redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Stephen Moffitt (Burlington, N.C./Williams) for his second goal of the season.
The Camels were the recipient of an UNCG miscue in the 20th minute of play as the Spartans scored an own goal to give Campbell a 2-0 lead. The Spartans’ defense had a Campbell cross deflect off a defender and past Moffitt into the back of the goal for the two-goal advantage. Campbell held a 7-4 edge in shots in the first 45 minutes as it controlled play in the opening period.
UNCG regrouped in the second half and also made its first goalkeeper change of the season as redshirt junior Davis Griffin (Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road) came on in relief for his first appearance of the year. The Spartans started to control the run of the play in the second half as they posted an 8-4 edge in shots.
The Spartans started their comeback in the 73rd minute as they scored on a counter attack rush. Junior Austin Miller (High Point, N.C./High Point Christian) made a run into the box and touched it off to freshman Rouven Wahlfeldt (Velbert, Germany/Gymnasium Waldstrasse) who buried it past Campbell goalkeeper Ethan Hall into the back of the net for his first career goal.
UNCG kept the pressure going and tied the game just 6:02 later in the 79th minute as Wahlfeldt and Miller combined once again, this time in reverse order. Senior Jake Fields (Newtown, Pa./Villanova) made a run from his backline position and sent a cross into the box. Wahlfeldt was able to get a touch on the cross and set it up for Miller who slotted a right-footed shot past Hall to tie the game at 2-2. The goal was also Miller’s first of the season and his ninth goal of his career.
Miller nearly gave the Spartans the game-winning goal in the 87th minute as he broke free in the Camel zone only to see his shot from the left-hand side skirt just wide of the far post.
The Spartans kept pushing for the game-winning goal down the stretch and into overtime as they held a commanding edge in shots as Campbell played the final 24:53 down a man after a red card was issued. Senior Brian Graham (Bowie, Md./Bowie) had a chance in the 94th minute and sophomore Noah DeAngelo (Burlington, N.C./Bishop McGuiness) in the 97th minute but Hall was able to make the saves to keep the game knotted at two apiece.
Griffin picked up the tie in goal as he played the final 65 minutes and made one save in his first action of the season and his fifth career game. Hall posted five saves for the Camels as he played the entire 110 minutes in net.
The Spartans open Southern Conference play Tuesday night as they host rival Furman. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
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