Top-seeded UNCG takes on Appalachian State in SoCon men's soccer semifinals on Friday
No. 4 Appalachian State (8-7-3) at No. 1 UNCG (10-5-4), 5 p.m.
Video: SoConSports.com (subscription required)
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via CofCSports.com)
+ Top-seeded UNCG takes a nine-match unbeaten streak into play on Friday night when it faces fourth-seeded Appalachian State in the first of two semifinal matches at Patriots Point. Second-seeded Furman and sixth-seeded Davidson will play in the second semifinal.
+ UNCG topped Wofford in overtime, 2-1, last Saturday night in the quarterfinal round. Hakan Ilhan scored twice for the Spartans, including the gamewinner 3:07 into extra-time. Appalachian State turned back Elon in the quarterfinals last Saturday, 1-0, on a Bruno Mbamala's tally amid the snow flurries just 29 seconds before halftime.
+ The Spartans hold a 23-8-1 mark all-time in Southern Conference Championship play. That is the second-best mark in conference history (.734) behind Furman. UNCG is making its 13th tournament appearance, with the Spartans making it to the semifinals for the 12th time 13 tournament appearances. Appalachian State is making its 22nd appearance in the Southern Conference men's soccer tournament and 12th trip to the semifinal round. The Mountaineers are 15-20-1 all-time in the conference tournament.
+ UNCG and Appalachian State have only met once before in the postseason. That came in 2006, when the Spartans came away with a 2-0 win in the semifinal round.
+ Appalachian State is just 2-6-3 away from home this season, but is 1-0-1 on neutral fields (a scoreless tie against Bowling Green and a 3-1 win over Marist).
+ Five Spartans earned all-conference honors on Wednesday and interim men's soccer coach Justin Maullin was named the league's Coach of the Year. Hakan Ilhan and Kris Byrd earned first-team honors, while Brian Graham, Fannar Arnarsson and Aaron Reifschneider earned second-team slots. UNCG's five honorees were the most among the eight league schools.
+ Sean Dreybus leads ASU in scoring this season with 11 points (4g, 3a). Ten different players account for the 18 goals scored by the Mountaineers this season. ASU has used three different goalkeepers this season. Danny Free got the call in the shutout win over Elon. He has a 0.96 GAA and a .778 save percentage in 560 minutes of action.
+ UNCG has been an offensive juggernaut lately. UNCG has 34 goals in 19 matches this season – 21 of those coming in the last nine matches. Since an eight-day layoff that coach Justin Maullin thought was very important for his team to get its legs back, the Spartans have outscored their opposition, 21-8 in those nine matches, going 6-0-3 in that span.
+ Sophomore Hakan Ilhan leads the Spartans – and the Southern Conference – in scoring with 27 points (10g, 7a). He is the first Spartan to surpass the 20-point mark since Thomas Campbell's 29 points in 2007. Freshman Brian Graham is second with 15 points on the year (6g, 3a). Sophomore Peyton Ford is UNCG's goalkeeper, logging a 1.15 GAA and .733 save percentage in 1795 minutes of action. In the nine-game unbeaten streak, Ford has a 0.84 GAA and a .789 save percentage.