UNCG is coming into Saturday night’s match on a three game winning streak and was going up against a strong, nationally ranked West Virginia Mountaineers team that was also coming off a an amazing streak as well. Over the past six games straight, the Mountaineers defense have shut out their opponents. It was a close game for the entire first half with both teams giving and taking shots to see who the first person to score will be. After the first half had passed the game was still tied 0-0, and WVU seemed to come out of the locker room with a stronger purpose. The Mountaineers came out strong on the offensive side of the pitch and ended up scoring the game’s only goal in the 61st minute of the game. The goal scorer was WVU midfielder Jad Arslan and was assisted by Sebastian Garcia-Her and proved to be the difference in the game and would give the Spartans their first loss in a week and a half.
With the Spartans coming in with a three game win streak, the head coach of the team commented about the effect on moral. “We’ve got good momentum and good confidence going into the game so we felt really positive this was going to be a win for us.”
The first half of the game was a defensive grudge match by both teams. There were a total of 3 shots on goal, 2 by WVU and 1 by UNCG. Along with a total of 3 corner kicks taken, 1 by WVU and 2 by UNCG. Coming into the game, the Spartans were well aware of the Mountaineers stout defense and Maullin commented about the gameplay changes to match with the defense. “Not at all, I mean we had some great looks at goal from 2 corners early that we should’ve scored on, not at all we’ve got some creative players and again we felt confident going in.”
But when the horn sounded at the 45th minute the score was 0-0. When coming out of the locker room for the second half Maullin discussed what he had said to the team to keep them going against this strong defense.“Stay focused, we needed to play a bit more direct, need a bit more penetration, too many negative passes, so just more positive more attacking positive soccer.”
The second half of the game was much more exciting as the entire fanbase was into the game as there were some questionable calls down the stretch of the game with it on the line. UNCG ended the game with a total of 13 fouls with 9 of them being in the second half. With comments on the foul calls made in the game Maullin said this: “You know, you just gotta let that go, it doesn’t affect us during the game we just gotta stay focused and in the end the referee didn’t lose us the game tonight.”
WVU would end up scoring the game winning goal in the 61st minute of the game and would end the blue and gold’s win streak. An equal amount of shots were taken in the game with WVU having 11 and UNCG having 10, but only 7 of those shots were on target for both teams. With UNCG having 3 shots on target, and WVU having 4. There were only 2 yellow cards given out during the game one of them being to the spartans bench in the 53rd minute, and the second one being given to Ricky Chavez in the 71st minute.
The next game for the Spartans will be on Saturday October 1 at 7:00 p.m. when the team competes in their second Southern Conference game against back-to-back SoCon champions, the Furman Paladins.