College of Charleston 5, Davidson 0
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The Southern Conference-leading College of Charleston men’s soccer team posted a comprehensive effort to beat Davidson, 5-0, in impressive fashion at Patriots Point on Saturday evening. With the win, the Cougars assured home-field advantage in the opening round of the nearing SoCon Tournament.
For the second time this season, senior midfielder Sean de Silva was good for five points with a pair of goals and an assist. Ralphie Lundy, Connor Coons and Luke Huggett also scored for the Cougars.
CofC (8-8-0, 4-1-0 SoCon) outshot the Wildcats, 14-12, and matched its season high with nine shots on target. CofC was forced to fend off 11 corner kicks but was up to the task each time, and Cougar keeper Kees Heemskerk made four saves on the night to preserve the shutout.
CofC opened the scoring in the 18th minute on a penalty kick converted by Lundy. The Wildcats’ foul in the box was one of six they committed before CofC was whistled for a single infraction. At full time, Davidson had committed 13 fouls to CofC’s seven. Lundy is now 3-for-3 on CofC’s penalty kicks this season.
In the 26th minute, de Silva collected the ball at the top right corner of the goal box and dribbled through traffic along the 18-yard line. After nearly running the width of the penalty area, he shot back across his body with a left footer back to the far-side netting to give CofC a 2-0 lead.
The Cougars stayed on the offensive in the second half and furthered their lead on their lone corner-kick opportunity of the match. The ball was sent in by de Silva and Coons used every bit of his 6-3 frame to rise above the crowd and head the ball into the back of the net.
In the 66th minute, de Silva stood over a free-kick opportunity from the top left corner of the box and bent the ball to his left-hand side around the defensive wall and under the crossbar for his seventh of the season.
In the 82nd minute, the Cougars added another when George Khoury played a through ball right through the heart of the Wildcat defense to Huggett, who took it in stride and slid it past the charging keeper to make the score 5-0.
CofC retained first place and will look to secure the regular-season crown and tournament No. 1 seed with a win over Georgia Southern on Saturday. The Cougars and Eagles kick off from Patriots Point at 7 p.m. Davidson will continue its six-game road trip with a 7 p.m. contest at Duke on Tuesday.
UNCG 1, Furman 0
GREENVILLE, S.C. – UNCG’s Austin Miller deflected in a Hakan Ilhan cross in the 80th minute to lift the Spartans to their sixth straight victory over Furman in Southern Conference men’s soccer action Saturday night on Seagraves Field at Stone Stadium.
The loss dropped the Paladins to 10-3-3 overall and 2-2-1 in the SoCon while snapping Furman’s 16-match home unbeaten run. UNCG became the first team to win in Greenville since Duke on Aug. 29, 2011.
UNCG improved to 5-8-2 overall and 3-3 in the league and the victory kept alive the Spartans’ chances to host a first-round game in the SoCon Tournament on Nov. 3. UNCG currently has nine points on the year with one game remaining as it battles to finish in the top four in the league, which would secure the home game.
Ilhan, curled a low, bouncing cross through the box from the left wing and Miller and a Paladin defender collided at the far post before the ball trickled into the net at 79:23. The match-winner marked Miller’s second goal of the season.
Both teams had chances to grab the lead in the first half, but could not beat the opposing keeper or the woodwork. Furman’s Martin Ontiveros rattled a shot off the crossbar from deep on the left side in the opening 10 minutes before having a corner kick cleared into the path of Jacob Brown, who fired just over the crossbar moments later.
In the 28th minute, Ontiveros split two defenders to receive a long ball and attempted to chip the charging goalkeeper, only to see his shot clear the bar. UNCG immediately created a chance of its own as David Reittinger lined a 30-yard shot over the head of Paladin keeper Sven Lissek that clipped the crossbar and bounced away from danger.
Mahdi Ali nearly put the Spartans in front in the opening minutes of the second half, but Lissek stopped a point-blank header inside the six-yard box. Ontiveros continued to create scoring opportunities for the Paladins with dangerous free kicks before UNCG found the go-ahead goal.
The Paladins pushed forward and earned three consecutive late corners only to see UNCG find a way to clear the ball each time.
Furman managed a 20-14 edge in shots, but UNCG finished with a 6-5 advantage in shots on goal.
Lissek stopped five shots in his first collegiate start for the Paladins while Peyton Ford recorded five saves to earn the clean sheet for the Spartans.
Prior to Saturday’s kickoff, Furman held an on-field ceremony to name its field Seagraves Field at Stone Soccer Stadium. Former Paladin standout Graham Seagraves and his wife, Jarrell Starnes Seagraves, a former Furman tennis standout, provided the lead gift in Furman’s soccer field house fundraising campaign. The couple was joined in the pregame ceremony by athletics director Dr. Gary Clark, Furman president Rod Smolla and both the men’s and women’s soccer teams.
The Spartans wrap up the 2012 regular season next Saturday as they host SoCon rival Elon. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium, and the Spartans will recognize their senior class prior to the contest.
Furman travels to Statesboro, Ga., to face Georgia Southern on Tuesday before closing the regular season at Wofford on Saturday. The opening round of the SoCon Tournament is scheduled for Nov. 3, with the top four seeds hosting.
Elon 1, Appalachian State 0
BOONE, N.C. – Gabe Latigue’s goal in the 43rd minute was the difference as the Elon’s men’s soccer team recorded its fourth shutout of the season with a 1-0 win at Appalachian State on Saturday night. The Phoenix (10-4-1, 4-2 Southern Conference) won its sixth road match of the year in defeating the Mountaineers (5-7-3, 0-3-2) at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
Latigue, brother of Appalachian State forward Nate Latigue, netted his third goal of the season in the 43rd minute late in the first half from 20 yards out off a helper from Chris Essman. The ball sailed over the head of the keeper to give Elon a 1-0 advantage going into the half.
In the second stanza, the Mountaineers continued to put pressure on the Phoenix with numerous chances to score within the box. Appalachian State outshot Elon 14-3 in the second half and had a 6-0 edge in corners.
The Phoenix back four and keeper Nathan Dean prevented the Mountaineers from adding the equalizer and were able to add their third clean sheet during SoCon play. Dean had five saves between the posts.
ASU’s Boubacar Toure had six shots to lead the Mountaineers, with teammate Lee Williams contributing five. Keeper Danny Free corralled two saves.
Elon will return to the pitch for nonconference action against Wake Forest at Rudd Field on Tuesday. The match against the 17th-ranked Demon Deacons is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. The Mountaineers hit the road for the final time during the regular season on Tuesday as they face Wofford. Kickoff from Spartanburg, S.C., is set for 7 p.m.
Georgia Southern 1, Wofford 0
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Georgia Southern’s men’s soccer team took its second straight win on Saturday evening with a 1-0 road win over Wofford. Joe Hughes took care of the scoring for the Eagles.
Wofford dropped to 9-6-0 and 2-2-0 in the SoCon, while Georgia Southern improved to 4-10-1 and 2-2-1 in conference play.
With more than an hour in the book, Hughes scored the breakthrough goal in the 67th minute of play. His fourth goal of the season came on a shot from the top of the 18-yard box into the top right corner of the net.
The Eagle defense took over from there, pitching the team’s third shutout of the season. Wofford outshot the Eagles 19-9 in the match, but it was goalkeeper Neal Bates that made nine saves in the contest.
In the first half, Wofford nearly found the back of the net in the 12th minute when Alex Hutchins sent a shot toward goal, but Bates was there for the save. The Terriers would threaten again 30 seconds later, but Connor Davis’ header went just high. Wofford’s best chance came in the 28th minute when Forrest Lasso’s header off a throw-in went just wide of the far post.
The Terriers continued to test the Eagles’ defense in the second half, and Lasso nearly gave Wofford the lead in the 53rd minute. Nestor Jaramillo sent in a corner that found Lasso at the back post, but an Eagle defender was able to clear the ball off the goal line.
Andrew Drennan took the loss for Wofford and fell to 9-6-0 this season. He made one save on nine shots.
Georgia Southern is back at Eagle Field on Tuesday against Furman. The 2012 home finale starts under the lights at Eagle Field from 7 p.m.
Wofford returns to the field on Tuesday when it hosts the Mountaineers of Appalachian State in a Southern Conference showdown. The match is set to kick off at 7 p.m.