Men’s Soccer loses opener vs Campbell

Madison Wyker/The Carolinian

Madison Wyker/The Carolinian

By Brandon Boyer, Staff Writer

Published in print Sept. 3, 2014

1262 fans piled in to UNCG Soccer Stadium last Friday evening as the UNCG’s men’s soccer team opened their 2014 campaign officially.

In the first game of the season, the Spartans fell to the Fighting Camels of Campbell University 0-1. The game was the second half of a doubleheader with the women’s soccer team, who defeated West Point in dramatic fashion.

The first half of the game saw both teams feel each other out, with both teams looking nervous and not willing to take too many chances beyond midfield.

The best chance of the half to score for the Blue and Gold came from senior Aaron Reifschneider in the form of a free kick opportunity just beyond the edge of the box.

His shot from just over 25-yards was deflected by the Fighting Camels’ defensive wall, putting Campbell goalkeeper Matthew Mozynski, into motion to punch it over the bar, for one of his career-high 10 saves on the night.

As halftime came and went, the first scoring breakthrough of the game finally came in the 52nd minute when a clearance from Eric Gunnarsson fell to the feet of Camels forward Isaiah Page.

Page promptly dispatched the ball into the back of the net beyond the outstretched fingertips of Davis Griffin.

This goal forced the Spartans’ hand, as the Blue and Gold shifted up a couple gears and launched everything they had headlong at the Camels’ goal and Mozynski.

In one attempt to tie the game, the ever-dangerous Jacques Francois stormed the gates of the Campbell defense, putting them on their heels and causing the Fighting Camels to react by taking down the young forward in the box.

Reifschnieder stepped to the spot, but Mozynski was equal to the challenge, parrying the shot around the post and keeping visiting Campbell out in front.

Even with the combined might of Lukas Zarges and Neico Regent, who both combined nine attempted shots toward their opponents’ goal, the Spartans never had a clear chance on goal and were shut out in their season and home opener on Friday.

Mozynski had a massive game for Campbell with a little help from the post on two separate occasions.

Still, as impressive as the Fighting Camels goalie was, the Spartans had plenty of chances to tie, take the lead and even win by a few goals, but never managed to put away their shots.

With 18 of their 23 shots coming in the second half, UNC-Greensboro really should have broken through at some point, but many of the shots sailed over or fell to the hands of Mozynski with no venom behind their shots.

The game did not just flow one way however.

With the Spartans pressing up the field on offense, space opened up in the midfield and between the central defenders and winging fullbacks, allowing Campbell to get in behind the defense to shoot.

This hole in the Spartans’ defense allowed the Fighting Camels to rack up nine shots in the second half and 14 total shots in the game.

Due to their lack of scoring, expect Coach Justin Maullin to run a few more finishing drills this week, as he expressed his disappointment in the missed opportunities in a interview.

“I thought we were the better team tonight […] Campbell won the game and we didn’t finish our chances tonight,” Maullin said. “We need to learn from the experience and finish those chances.”

The Spartans next chance to win their first home game of the season comes this Friday against James Madison, a non-conference opponents from the Colonial Athletic Conference.

Kick-off for that game is set a 7 p.m. and will be the conclusion to a busy opening week for the Blue and Gold who would had played three games over a period of eight days.

Categories: madison wyker, Sports

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