Cinderella's back... Spartans are in the SoCon Tourney
PATRIOTS POINT, S.C. - On a roller coaster of a day, UNC Greensboro sat back and could only watch as College of Charleston tied the score with 1:18 left in regulation and won it 32 seconds into overtime, defeating Furman, 3-2, and sending the Spartans back to the Southern Conference Tournament.
The Spartans (6-9-3, 3-3-1) will face top-seeded Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C. on Friday evening. UNCG will be the fourth seed in the four-team tournament. College of Charleston will be seeded No. 2 and face third-seeded Elon in the other semifinal on Friday.
The College of Charleston-Furman match was originally slated for Tuesday afternoon. However, early Monday, conference and school officials decided to move the game to Monday night at 8 p.m. in order to get the game in ahead of Tropical Storm Ida, which may threaten the Carolinas some time on Tuesday.
Senior forward Matt Morris scored his second goal of the evening just 32 seconds into overtime to give the College of Charleston a 3-2 victory over Furman. Morris headed the ball into the back left corner off a throw in by senior midfielder Jake Helmig.
As the clock ticked down in the first half, Furman (7-7-2, 2-3 SoCon) evened the score, capitalizing on a penalty kick by Talon Stroud at the 41:31 mark. The two SoCon teams entered halftime tied 1-1.
Junior Branko Gavric nearly scored in the 63rd minute when his shot from nine yards out bounced off the crossbar and then the left post before landing within reach of Furman goalkeeper Alec Kann.
The Paladins took the lead at 68:40 when Nasarachi Onyeuku netted his fourth goal of the season. Onyeuku rifled a right-footer into the upper 90 near the back post.
With 1:10 remaining in regulation, junior Sean Flatley emerged from a scramble in front of the net to slip one past Kann and tie the game for the second time. The kept the Spartans alive and set the stage for Morris' gamewinner.
Last year, UNCG came out of the bottom of the bracket, winning the eight-team tournament as the No. 7 seed. UNCG eventually pulled two upsets in the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by USF in penalty kicks in the round of 16.
- UNCG -