Still alive... Spartans advance in PKs, 3-2, over Georgia Southern
DAVIDSON, NC – UNC Greensboro goalkeeper Nate Berry stopped three shots in the penalty kick phase as the seventh-seeded Spartans advanced to the Southern Conference Tournament title match after playing a scoreless tie through two overtimes against third-seeded Georgia Southern at Alumni Stadium.
The Spartans (7-11-2) are the lowest seed to ever make the SoCon final. They will face fifth-seeded College of Charleston, which toppled top-seed Elon, 4-1, in the first semifinal on Friday night. It will be UNCG's fourth straight finals appearance and eighth in 12 years as a SoCon member.
Georgia Southern concludes the season at 8-8-1 overall and 4-3 in the Southern Conference.
Berry and Joey Ralph of Georgia Southern each earned shutouts in the scoreless draw with Ralph stopping nine shots and Berry collecting four saves. Berry stopped three of Georgia Southern's five attempts in the shootout, clinching the win when Austen Peacock's final shot went wide right.
Following a miss in its initial attempt, UNCG connected on three consecutive penalty shots from the boots of Matt Betts, Tim Masters and E.J. O'Keeffe.
One of Georgia Southern's best chances came in the 67th minute when Jarryd Nolette found Daniel Smith at the top of the box on a breakaway, but Smith's shot rolled wide of the left post, keeping the match scoreless.
Shortly after that, UNCG's Masters blasted a shot from the left corner of the 18-yard box but Eagle goalkeeper Ralph was up to the task, punching the attempt back out. The Spartans' Tebatso Manyama fired another solid shot toward the goal seconds later, but it sailed high.
In the second extra period, Ralph saved a Manyama blast in the 102nd minute. GSU's B.J. Reine countered with a chance of his own inside the box five minutes later, but this time, Berry dove to his right to preserve the shutout.
Each team attempted 16 shots in the match.
Goals by period 1 2 OT O2 Tot
UNC Greensboro...... 0 0 0 0 - 0
Georgia Southern.... 0 0 0 0 - 0
SCORING: none. Shots: UNCG 16, Georgia Southern 16. Saves: UNCG 4 (Berry 4), Georgia Southern 9 (Ralph 9). Corner kicks: UNCG 3, Georgia Southern 6. Fouls: UNCG 14, Georgia Southern 12.
SHOOTOUT RESULTS: UNCG: Elisabetarson missed, Betts made, Masters made, O'Keeffe made. Georgia Southern: Langseth missed, Reine made, Cox misses, Hall made, Peacock missed. UNC Greensboro wins shootout 3-2
- UNCG -