GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s soccer team opens Southern Conference play Tuesday night as the Spartans host rival No. 15 Furman for a 7 p.m. contest at the UNCG Soccer Stadium in a battle of perennial SoCon title contenders. Since UNCG entered the league in 1997, the Spartans and Paladins have each won seven SoCon regular season titles and five SoCon Tournament Championships during the 16-year stretch. Live video and live stats will be available for the game at www.uncgspartans.com.
UNCG enters Tuesday’s game with a 5-5-1 overall record on the year and is coming off a 2-2 double overtime tie at Campbell Saturday. The Spartans rallied from a two-goal second half deficit to tie the game late in regulation as they dominated play after the first 45 minutes, out-shooting the Camels 13-5 in the final 65 minutes of play.
Junior forward Austin Miller (High Point, N.C./High Point Christian) and freshman midfielder Rouven Wahlfeldt (Velbert, Germany/Gymnasium Waldstrasse) each tallied three points in the comeback with a goal and an assist. Miller set up Wahlfeldt for the Spartans’ first goal while the two reversed roles for the game-tying tally just six minutes later.
The Spartans have scored 14 goals this season with eight different players finding the back of the net in the first 11 games of the year. Junior David Reittinger (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest) leads the Spartans in scoring with nine points as he has scored four goals and handed out an assist. Senior Brian Graham (Bowie, Md./Bowie) is second on the team in scoring with eight points, having dished out a team-high four assist and scoring two goals.
Furman enters the game with a 7-1-1 overall record and has been off since September 29 when it opened SoCon play with a 1-1 tie at Appalachian State. The Paladins are unbeaten in their last seven games, outscoring opponents 18-1 during that stretch with victories over the College of Charleston, Presbyterian, Vermont, East Tennessee State, Gardner-Webb and James Madison. Furman’s lone loss this season came against No. 8 Akron, falling 1-0 in a neutral site.
The Paladins have scored 22 goals in nine games, eight of which came against Presbyterian and five against ETSU. Nine different players have scored goals with Tyler Peoples and Bobby Edet leading the way with four goals each. Martin Ontiveros and Lewis Hawke have each added three goals in the balanced attack. Sven Lissek has played all by 32:55 in goal for Furman and has a 0.53 goals against average with five shutouts.
Tuesday’s game marks the 29th meeting all-time between UNCG and Furman, with the Spartans holding a 14-13-1 record in the series history against the Paladins. The Spartans have won six straight in the series, dating back to the 2008 SoCon Tournament victory. Last year, UNCG picked up a big 1-0 victory on the road in Greenville as Miller scored in the 80th minute. He has scored two goals in two career games against the Paladins.
The game also marks the 17th Southern Conference opener in UNCG men’s soccer history. The Spartans own a 7-7-2 record in league openers dating back to their inaugural season in 1997. UNCG and Furman have opened league play five times in program history with the Spartans holding a 2-3-0 record against the Paladins in league openers. UNCG last face Furman in a league opener in 2011 when the Spartans posted a 2-0 victory at home as Hakan Ilhan and Miller scored second half goals.
Last year, the Spartans opened league play with a 4-0 victory on the road at Davidson. Ilhan set a program-record for the NCAA Division I era with four assists in the victory as UNCG scored four goals in the first 34 minutes of play. Lukas Zarges (Freidrichsdorf, Germany/Phillip Reis Schulle) and Miller scored the first two goals of the game while Graham and Oddur Gudmundsson (Reykjavik, Iceland/Breidholti) added the next two goals in the impressive victory.
- UNCG -