MT. PLEASANT, S.C.— Hakan Ilhan's goal early in the first half was all the offense UNCG needed as the Spartans picked up a key Southern Conference win over College of Charleston, Saturday at Patriots Point.
The win improves the Spartans to 3-1-1 overall in SoCon play and all but clinches a home game for UNCG (6-7-1 overall) in the opening round of next month's conference tournament.
The victory also kept UNCG's regular-season title hopes alive. With 10 points in the conference standings the Spartans are currently alone in third place, one point behind second-place Appalachian State and two points behind league-leading Georgia Southern.
Ilhan scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season in the 12th minute. Oddur Gudmundsson centered a ball off the end line to Ilhan in front of the goal and the junior forward knocked a shot past Cougars goalkeeper Kees Heemskerk for a 1-0 lead.
UNCG's defense and goalkeeper Peyton Ford took care of the rest. Ford faced 16 shots and made seven saves as he posted his fifth shutout of the year, lowering his goals-against average to 0.73 for the season.
Ford also moved into a tie for second place with current assistant coach Jay Benfield in the UNCG record books with his 14th career shutout.
The Spartans next host Georgia Southern in a crucial SoCon match, 7 p.m., Tuesday at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
Soccer Game Summary (Final)
2011 UNCG Men's Soccer
UNCG vs Coll. of Charleston (Oct 22, 2011 at Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)
UNCG6-7-1 (3-1-1 SoCon) vs. Coll. of Charleston5-6-4 (1-2-2 SoCon)
Date: Oct 22, 2011 Attendance: 511
Weather: 65 F, lightly cloudy, sunset at kick
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
UNCG................ 1 0 - 1
Coll. of Charleston. 0 0 - 0
1. 11:29 UNCG Hakan Ilhan (Oddur Gudmundsson) - ball kept in along endline, centered and one-touched to goal
Shots: UNCG 7, Coll. of Charleston 16
Saves: UNCG 8 (Peyton Ford 7; TEAM 1), Coll. of Charleston 4 (Kees Heemskerk 4)