Spartans survive late scare, advance with 3-2 win over James Madison in NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament first round
GREENSBORO, NC – Hermann Award semfinalist Randi Patterson scored twice and UNC Greensboro survived a late rally by James Madison to hold on for a 3-2 win in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament at UNCG Soccer Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Spartans advanced in the tournament for the second straight year. UNCG will take on 12th-seeded Virginia Tech on Tuesday at 5 pm in Blacksburg, VA. The Hoakies received a first-round bye as one of 16 seeded teams.
After a scoreless first half in which James Madison held a 7-1 advantage in shots, UNCG scored first just over five minutes after halftime. The Spartans, winners of the Southern Conference Tournament and co-champions of the SoCon during the regular season, got on the board at 50:12 when Scott Jones hit a corner kick into the middle of the box. Mike Richardson faked out the Dukes’ defense by jumping in front of UNCG’s tallest player in the box Jamie Carlson, who the Dukes looked to be keying on, and heading the ball into the goal for a 1-0 lead. The goal was Richadson’s third of the season.
Jones had a part in UNCG’s second goal at 66:15, which again came on a corner kick. Jones hit the ball this time from the left corner flag into the box. The ball found Patterson’s head this time from six yards out for Patterson’s 17th goal of the season and a 2-0 advantage. The goal gave Patterson 41 points for the season, making him just the fourth player in school history to record consecutive 40-point seasons.
UNCG struck quickly for its third goal, scoring just 49 seconds later. The Spartans’ Henning Jonason hit a ball from the midfield stripe deep into JMU territory. Patterson, a junior from Hackensack, NJ, chased it down, made a move and flicked it over the sprawling keeper. Leaping over JMU keeper Kevin Trapp, Patterson chased down the loose ball and tapped it home from the left post for his second goal of the afternoon and the 48th of his career.
But James Madison, which earned an at-large bid after finishing third in the Colonial Athletic Association, did not go quietly. The Dukes got on the board with 1:06 to play when Kurt Morsink scored off of a free kick from 20 yards out. Morsink hooked the ball perfectly to the top left corner and UNCG keeper Jay Benfield never had a chance as the score went to 3-1.
Just 45 seconds later, it became a 3-2 game. Morsink scored again chipping one over Benfield’s head just under the crossbar with 21 seconds left in regulation to make it a one-goal game.
But UNCG was able to run out the final seconds and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament’s second round. Last year, UNCG was seeded eighth and earned a first-round bye. The Spartans won their second round match over College of Charleston, but were eliminated by UC Santa Barbara in the third round in overtime, 1-0.
With the win, UNCG also kept James Madison coach Tom Martin from earning his 400th career victory. The match was a pairing of two of college soccer’s winningest coaches. Martin’s record in 29 seasons stands at 399-134-44. UNCG’s Michael Parker, who won his 450th match in the SoCon Tournament title game a week ago, leads all active Division I coaches in wins while Martin is fourth. Parker’s record is 451-154-23 in 30 seasons.
James Madison (12-7-2) held a 17-11 advantage in shots for the game. UNCG held a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks, scoring on two of them.
James Madison......... 0 2 - 2
UNC Greensboro...... 0 3 - 3
SCORING SUMMARY: UNCG - Richardson (Jones), 50:12; UNCG - Patterson (Jones), 66:15; UNCG - Patterson (Jonason), 67:04; JMU - Morsink (unassisted), 88:54; JMU - Morsink, (unassisted), 89:39. Shots: James Madison 17, UNC Greensboro 11. Saves: James Madison 3 (Trapp 3), UNC Greensboro 7 (Benfield 7). Corner kicks: JMU 2, UNCG 4. Fouls: JMU 13, UNCG 16.
- UNCG -