Elon stuns UNCG, 2-1, in SoCon men's soccer action
ELON, NC – Brett Paschall and Kiki Willis teamed up for both of Elon’s goals, including Paschall’s seventh goal of the season 3:50 into sudden-death overtime as the Phoenix knocked off UNC Greensboro, 2-1, in Southern Conference men’s soccer action Wednesday night.
The loss snapped UNCG’s 13-match unbeaten string in SoCon regular season play. UNCG last lost a regular season conference match in October 2003. It also forced UNCG to share the SoCon championship with Davidson and caused a coin flip to be scheduled at an undetermined time on Thursday for the No. 1 seed in the Southern Conference Tournament, which gets underway on Saturday. UNCG will either get seven-seeded Georgia Southern or eighth-seeded Wofford. The Southern Conference title is UNCG’s fourth in nine years as a SoCon member.
Elon’s win gave the Phoenix the No. 3 seed in the SoCon Tournament and a home date on Saturday with Appalachian State. Had the Phoenix (8-8-2, 4-2-1) lost, they would have been the fifth-seeded and headed to College of Charleston. The win added to the Cinderella story of the Phoenix this season, who finished seventh in the conference a year ago.
UNCG (12-5-0, 5-1-0) held a 12-7 advantage in shots in the first half, but went to the locker room with the score tied, 1-1. Randi Patterson opened the scoring with his 14th goal of the season 9:54 into the contest. Following a corner kick, the junior from Hackensack, NJ gathered a loose ball and hit a rocket into the back of the goal for his 44th career goal and a 1-0 UNCG lead.
However, Elon tied the game 9:26 before half on a tally by Willis off a cross by Paschall. The goal was Willis’ team-leading ninth goal of the season.
The score held up that way through regulation, although both teams had plenty of chances in the second half. UNCG’s best chance came with just under six minutes to play when Mike Richardson had a point-blank shot from eight yards out and popped it over the goal.
But the Phoenix found the net 3:50 into overtime. Willis’ shot from the right side of the box hit the left post. Paschall, however, followed up the rebound and put it into the bottom left corner of the net for the game-winner, which set off a wild celebration for the Phoenix and their first-year head coach Darren Powell, who was facing his alma mater, UNCG, for the first time.
UNC Greensboro...... 1 0 0 - 1
Elon.......................... 1 0 1 - 2
SCORING SUMMARY: UNCG - Patterson (unassisted), 9:54; ELON - Willis (Paschall), 35:34; ELON - Paschall (Willis), 93:50. Shots: UNC Greensboro 18, Elon 12. Saves: UNC Greensboro 3 (Benfield 3), Elon 6 (Saxe 6). Corner kicks: UNC Greensboro 7, Elon 2. Fouls: UNC Greensboro 14, Elon 11.
– UNCG –