GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG sophomore Hakan Ilhan scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season with 5:33 left in regulation time to forge a 2-2 tie between the Spartans and No. 25-ranked College of Charleston in Southern Conference men's soccer action Wednesday night.
College of Charleston, ranked No. 25 in the NSCAA poll this week, had its eight-game winning streak haulted and turned into a 10-game unbeaten streak. The Cougars are now 8-2-2 overall, 3-0-1 in SoCon play.
College of Charleston had a 21-11 advantage in shots on goal, including 17-5 after halftime. The Spartans (5-5-2, 1-1-1) got several key saves, however, from goalkeeper Peyton Ford.
"It was a very good result for us," said UNCG interim head coach Justin Maullin. "It was a game of two halves. I thought we were better in the first half and they were in the second half. We knew coming in that they were a very good team. We knew we would have to defend their set pieces and that was unfortunately how they scored both of their goals. That was a little disappointing. But overall, I am happy with the result."
The Cougars, who were No. 10 in the NCAA's RPI index when it was released yesterday, nearly won it in the second overtime when Andy Craven got a one-on-one chance with Ford. Craven shot to Ford's left as he charged forward from about 15 yards out. All Ford could do was turn and watch over his shoulder as the ball banged off the post and the score remained tied.
UNCG took a 1-0 lead at the 18:28 mark. Aaron Reifschneider's long throw from the right sideline landed in the middle of the box. Ilhan flicked it with a heel pass to the opposite post, where Brian Graham waited to knock it home for his second goal of the year and an early Spartan advantage.
The Cougars tied it early in the second half. A long throw-in went into a crowd near the six-yard line. Sean Flatley got a head on it to knock it back to Tony Kattreh, who one-timed from 14 yards out for his second goal of the year at the 53:35 mark.
Shawn Fergguson's first goal of the year made it a 2-1 Cougar lead with 22:38 to play. Sean DeSilva's corner kick went towards the 6-yard box, where Fergguson leaped into the air and headed it home to give College of Charleston the lead.
But Ilhan tied it at 84:27. Adam Shore, who had checked into the game as UNCG pressed forward with extra front line players, had the ball on the right wing. He hit a cross towards the left post. Ilhan just got a head onto it just before he collided with the post, knocking it home for the game-tying goal.
Ilhan, a sophomore from Stuttgart, Germany, had his second-straight three-point game. He had a hand in UNCG's first two goals on Sunday with a goal and an assist in the Spartans' 6-1 win at Georgia Southern.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday when they visit Davidson for a 7 p.m. Southern Conference match-up.
Coll of Charleston.. 0 2 0 0 - 2
UNCG................ 1 1 0 0 - 2
SCORING SUMMARY: UNCG Graham (Ilhan, Reifschneider), 18:28 COFC Tony Kattreh (2) (Sean Flatley), 53:35; COFC Shawn Fergguson (1) (Sean De Silva), 77:22; UNCG Hakan Ilhan (4) (Adam Shore), 84:27. Shots: Coll of Charleston 21, UNCG 11. Saves: College of Charleston 2 (Heemskerk 2), UNCG 6 (Ford 5; Team 1). Corner kicks: College of Charleston 6, UNCG 2. Fouls: College of Charleston 15, UNCG 12.
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