GREENSBORO, NC – Playing in a driving rain caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Tammy, UNC Greensboro sloshed its way to a 4-2 win over Davidson in Southern Conference men’s soccer action at rainsoaked UNCG Soccer Stadium on Friday night and extend its regular season conference unbeaten streak to 11 straight matches.
In a match up of the top two teams in the SoCon according to the Coaches’ Pre-season Poll, the Spartans got a pair of goals from Randi Patterson to go along with goals by Thomas Campbell and Michael FitzGerald. The win moved UNCG to 8-3-0 and 3-0-0 in the conference, while Davidson dropped to 6-5-1, 1-1-0 in the SoCon. UNCG is ranked as high as No. 19 in the national polls this week.
The game was haulted by the officials with 23:51 to play with agreement of the coaches due to the field conditions. According to National Weather Service Doppler Radar, nearly an inch of rain had fallen since game time hampering play.
Campbell got the scoring underway just under five minutes in. FitzGerald, although not credited with an assist on the goal, really made the play happen as he put pressure on a Wildcat defender and caused an errant pass as the rain began to go from a drizzle to a downpour. Campbell took advantage of the slow rolling turf, intercepted the pass and scored his third goal of the season on a breakaway to make it a 1-0 UNCG lead.
Davidson tied the game at 14:20 when Matt Allen scored on a header off of a corner kick series. Robby Hoak put the ball in play, feeding it to David Sartorio in the box. Sartorio found Allen, who headed it in through a crowd to knot the score.
FitzGerald, however, made it a 2-1 game just 59 seconds into the second half with a goal very similar to Allen’s. Campbell put the ball in play off a corner kick from the right corner to the left post. David Grayson attempted a shot from there, which was then deflected by FitzGerald into the net for his third tally of the season.
Patterson scored twice after that, both on plays were the ball was slowed by standing water. The junior from Hackensack, NJ scored his 11th of the season at 53:16 when he raced to a ball rolling slowly, beating the defenders to the play and then popping it past the keeper for a 3-1 lead.
He scored again less than five minutes later. A rolling ball played by Patterson died just before the 18 yard line, causing a race to it by Patterson and the Davidson netminder. The speedy Patterson won the race chipped the ball past the diving keeper and scored his 12th goal of the season to give UNCG a 4-1 advantage.
John Latting closed the scoring for Davidson when he scored out of a crowd from 14 yards out at the 62-minute mark. The officials haulted play 4:09 after that.
UNCG, which is also unbeaten 20 of its last 21 SoCon regular season matches, was playing without Hermann Award candidate Scott Jones and starting defender Jamie Carlson. Jones is expected back next week after suffering a concussion in Tuesday’s win over Appalachian State. Carlson missed his second straight match with an ankle injury.
UNCG will host Furman on Wednesday at UNCG Soccer Stadium in another SoCon match beginning at 7 pm.
Davidson.......................... 1 1 - 2
UNC Greensboro................1 3 - 4
SCORING SUMMARY: UNCG - Campbell (unassisted), 4:57; DAV - Allen (Sartorio, Hoak), 14:20; UNCG - FitzGerald (Grayson; Campbell), 45:59; UNCG - Patterson (unassisted), 53:16; Patterson (unassisted), 58:08; DAV Latting (Hoak), 62:00; Shots: Davidson 8, UNC Greensboro 13; Saves: Davidson 2 (Ashton 2, Coleman [55:23] 0), UNC Greensboro 2 (Benfield 2). Corner kicks: UNCG 3, Davidson 3; Fouls: UNCG 18, Davidson 16.
– UNCG –