GREENSBORO, NC – Henning Jonason has a flair for the dramatic.
For the second time this season, with the clock winding down, Jonason, a freshman from Iceland, nailed the game-winning goal, this time with three seconds remaining in the second overtime period to lift UNC Greensboro to a 1-0 Southern Conference men’s soccer victory over Furman at UNCG Soccer Stadium on Wednesday night.
With the clock winding down and the game headed for a scoreless draw, Jonason made a run from midfield and his left back position at the time. He took a feed from Randi Patterson with about nine seconds on the clock just outside the 18, made one move to his left and hit a blast into the bottom right corner of the net for his third goal of the season, which set off a wild celebration.
It was back on September 24 when Jonason scored on a free kick with 43 seconds left in regulation to give UNCG a 4-3 win over William & Mary. This time, however, it was a little more dramatic and carried a little more weight as UNCG moved to 9-3-0 overall, 4-0-0 in SoCon action. Furman, which was playing for a share of first place in the SoCon, fell to 4-5-4, 2-2-0 in SoCon play.
Furman dominated the first 45 minutes, holding UNCG without a shot until Randi Patterson’s 15 yard blast just two seconds before intermission. The Paladins held a 7-1 advantage in shots in the first 45 minutes, but UNCG keeper Jay Benfield was outstanding in the first half and throughout the contest. Benfield made several point blank saves to keep the game scoreless.
Benfield, a senior from Lewisville, NC made six saves on the night and was intercepted before he could get to the postgame dogpile by his coach Michael Parker with a celebratory hug.
Furman keeper Bryan Amos also came up big in front of the goal, including twice midway through the second overtime. First, he punched away a possible own goal after a Furman defender headed a ball inadvertently towards the net. Amos, however, punched the ball over top of the goal to keep the game scoreless.
Just over a minute later, Amos came up big again when he stopped David Grayson’s point blank shot from eight yards out to preserve the scoreless tie for just a little longer.
With the win, UNCG extended its SoCon regular season unbeaten string to 12 straight matches dating back to October 2003. It marked the fourth straight year that UNCG and Furman had their regular season meeting decided by one goal or less.
With the assist on the game-winner, Patterson now has at least one point in 10 of UNCG’s 12 matches this season.
UNCG, which is ranked by all four national polls and is listed as high as No. 17 this week, will hit the road and step out of conference this weekend for an 11 am match at Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
Furman................ 0..0..0..0..- 0
UNC Greensboro.0..0..0..1..- 1
SCORING SUMMARY: UNCG - Jonason (Patterson, Grayson), 109:57. Shots: Furman 14, UNC Greensboro 12. Saves: Furman 6 (Amos 6), UNC Greensboro 6 (Benfield 6). Corner kicks: Furman 5, UNC Greensboro 5. Fouls: UNC Greensboro 24, Furman 25.
– UNCG –