The UNCG men’s soccer team concluded the regular season Saturday night in a close game against Furman. The game was held at the UNCG Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m. Coming into this game, the soccer team has been trying to find their rhythm, especially after the inconsistency shown in their last five games.
UNCG Men’s Soccer entered this game with a 5-8-2 overall record and a 1-2-2 record among the Southern Conference. The majority of those losses and ties resulted from games that went into overtime. Their most recent overtime battle was against ETSU on Homecoming Night. After two overtimes, the game was ruled a tie 1-1.
In early October, Spartan Men’s soccer team fell to Wofford 2-1 after playing two overtimes. UNCG has experienced numerous battles this season with one goal being the deciding factor late in the game.The results prompt the question, will this game be decided by overtime or will the Spartans close out early?
Their opponent, Furman, entered this game with a 10-5-1 overall record and 4-1-0 in the Southern Conference.Fortunately, despite Furman’s solid record, UNCG was able to prevail in a 1-0 victory late in the second half.
Both teams started the first half with high energy. UNCG was good on defense, as well as offense, but just couldn’t seem to capitalize. This has been a common theme throughout the season. They had multiple opportunities to score in the first half, but failed to successfully get onto the scoreboard.
It was essentially the same in the second half as it was in the first. Possession of the ball constantly alternated between UNCG and Furman, with no goals scored.
Entering Saturday’s game against Furman with a chip on their shoulders, they had something to prove.
After seeing both Furman and UNCG fail to score in the first half and during the majority of the second half, many thought this game would not be finished by regulation.
Yes, both teams remained scoreless for most of the second-half, until sophomore forward Manny Apau scored for UNCG with under three minutes left on the time clock.
This score would solidify the win for the men’s soccer team. It was definitely a sight to see.
By good fortune, the UNCG men’s soccer team was able to take out their opponent before regulation was over.
The UNCG men’s soccer team track record for winning games in one overtime or more is not the best. The men’s soccer team has played in a total of six games in which the game concluded in one or more overtime. Out of those six games that were in overtime, only two resulted in wins. The other games resulted in either losses or ties.
Spartan Men’s Soccer were very much aware of their shortcomings early this season. They have been working to make the necessary adjustments and to remain focused.
Even though UNCG did not get on the scoreboard until late in the second half, they continued to push the intensity on offense and defense. The team never gave up until the final whistle sounded.
Despite the inconsistencies and adversity the team has faced, they maintained an attitude of positivity throughout the season. Men’s soccer ended the regular season with a solid win against Furman. They will return to action Saturday, Nov. 3 in the quarterfinals against Wofford.
UNCG concludes the regular season with an overall record of 6-8-2 and 2-2-2 SoCob record. Wofford Terriers conclude their regular season with a 5-10-1 overall record and 3-3-0 against the SoCon.
If UNCG are able to take down Wofford, they will advance to the SoCon tournament, which would take place on Friday, Nov. 9 in Johnson City, TN.
The UNCG men’s soccer team definitely has what it takes to advance to the championship game, given that they were able to do so last year.
Still, the Spartans have a steep challenge awaiting them next weekend. The Wofford Terriers are the no. four seed and UNCG is the fifth seed in this matchup.
The game is set to kickoff at the Snyder Field in Spartanburg, South Carolina at 6pm.