Spartans move into title game with 2-0 win over Appalachian State
GREENVILLE, SC – Redemption Part II.
For the second straight year, UNC Greensboro earned a measure of redemption in the conference semifinals by beating the only conference foe to hand them a loss in the regular season, this time defeating Appalachian State, 2-0, in the semifinal round of the Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament on Friday night on the campus of Furman University.
The Spartans, which defeated Elon in last year’s semifinal round on their way to the Southern Conference Tournament championship, raised their record to 13-7-1 and earned a spot in Sunday’s 1 pm championship game against either third-seeded Furman or second-seeded Georgia Southern.
The Spartans broke open a scoreless match with two goals in the final 30 minutes and it was D.J. McCurry, the unlikely spark in the quarterfinal win over Wofford, who got it going. McCurry, who assisted on both of Randi Patterson’s goals in the 2-0 quarterfinal win, cross a ball into the box from the left side. Michael FitzGerald headed the cross into the goal for his ninth goal of the season and a 1-0 UNCG lead.
Patterson then put the game away in the final minute. On a two-on-one breakaway, FitzGerald gave it to Patterson, who found the back of the net for his 11t h goal of the season.
Nate Berry earned the shutout, recording three saves. It was the freshman’s second straight shutout and sixth of the season.
With the win, UNCG advanced to the title game for the sixth time in 10 years of competition in the Southern Conference. UNCG, 17-7-0 all-time in SoCon Tournament play, has won the title twice, bringing home the championship trophy in 1998 and 2005. The winner of the Southern Conference Tournament earns an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament field of 48.
Appalachian State, making its first semifinal appearance since 2000 after crusing past College of Charleston in the quarterfinals, closed its season at 10-7-2. The Mountaineers outshot the Spartans, 13-12, for the game.
Appalachian State... 0 0 - 0
UNC Greensboro...... 0 2 - 2
SCORING SUMMARY: UNCG FitzGerald (McCurry), 61:22; UNCG Randi Patterson (FitzGerald), 89:19. Shots: Appalachian State 13, UNC Greensboro 12. Saves: Appalachian State 4 (Walters 4), UNC Greensboro 3 (Berry 3). Corner Kicks: Appalachian State 5, UNC Greensboro 5. Fouls: UNC Greensboro 12, Appalachian State 11.
- UNCG -