Written by UNCG Sports Information Dept:
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The 15th ranked UNCG men's soccer team suffered its first loss of the season Wednesday night as the Spartans dropped a 3-0 decision to visiting High Point at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. The loss drops the Spartans to 3-1-0 on the season despite out-shooting the Panthers 15-10.
"Disappointed that after going 270 minutes without allowing a goal we give up three goals tonight," head coach Justin Maullin said. "We are not that good of a team to come out and expect to win with the type of effort we gave tonight. We got away from what got us here -- hard work, determination and defending. There is still a lot of soccer left to play. We have some big games coming up against top teams which can help us reach our ultimate goal which is to get an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament."
After the two teams played a scoreless first half, High Point scored the first goal in the 49th minute of action becoming the first team to score against UNCG this season. The Spartans opened the season playing 318:36 minutes of scoreless soccer before Mamadee Nyepon knocked a header off a cross from Austin Yearwood past redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Stephen Moffitt (Burlington, N.C./Williams).
The Spartans came within inches of tying the game back up just 22 second later as they push the attack and had one of their best scoring chances of the night. Freshman defender Quin Lema (Pembroke, Bermuda/Montverde Academy) got free down the right-hand side and made a run into the 18-yard box. He was able to get a pass off to junior David Reittinger (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest) but his shot in close quarters went just wide of the goalpost.
UNCG kept the pressure on and used the energy from the 1,098 fans to mount the attack. Sophomore Lukas Zarges (Freidrichsdorf, Germany/Phillip Reis Schulle) found space in the midfield and sent a long ball to forward Justin Jones (Jamestown, N.C./Lees-McRae). Jones was on a partial breakaway and his shot sailed just over the crossbar in the 55th minute of play.
The Spartans came within inches of tying the game in the 71st minute. Senior forward Brian Graham (Bowie, Md./Bowie) ran onto a long ball in the box and me the pass at the same time as the on-charging goalkeeper. Graham was able to wrestle the ball loose and send it towards the goal but a High Point defender was able to make a diving save to keep the ball out of the goal.
High Point took a 2-0 lead in the 75th minute as it took advantage of the UNCG all-out pressure and found the back of the net in on the counter attack. Erien Campbell took the ball near the midfield and it was a two-on-two down the field. Campbell used the Nyepon as a decoy and ripped a shot from 15-yards out into the bottom corner past a diving Moffitt. Nyepon closed out the scoring in the 89th minute with his second goal of the game, scoring form 15-yards out.
Palmer posted four saves in the victory for the Panthers and was helped by the crucial team save to preserve the shutout. Moffitt picked up his first loss of his career and allowed his first three goals of the season.
UNCG returns to action Saturday night as it welcomes in regional foe Coastal Carolina. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
UNCG/ WFMY News 2 Sports