Men's Soccer Battles Adversity On Way To 4-1 Victory At Longwood
FARMVILLE, Va. – In a game that featured nine total cards and four red cards, the UNCG men's soccer team showed its mettle as the Spartans pulled away from Longwood with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night at the Athletics Complex. The Spartans finished the game with a 10-versus-8 advantage on the playing field, as the Lancers had three players issued red cards.
Junior forward Oddur Gudmundsson (Reykjavik, Iceland/Breidholti) paced the Spartans' attack with two goals and a team-high six shots. Gudmundsson leads UNCG with four goals on the season, surpassing last year's goal total (three) in just the first four games.
Longwood opened the scoring in the third minute of the game as it took advantage of a UNCG errant clearing attempt. Lancer forward Devin Pierce brought down the clearing attempt at the top of the 18-yard box and struck a shot into the bottom left corner past redshirt senior goalkeeper Peyton Ford (Jamestown, N.C./Southwest Guilford) for the early 1-0 lead.
UNCG had a flurry in the 15th minute of play as Gudmundsson had two chances in 30 seconds. Gudmundsson's second chance came on a header from five-yards out that Longwood goalkeeper Carl Carpenter made a sprawling save on to keep the Spartans off the board.
The Spartans tied the game in the 20th minute of play as their pressure drew a corner kick. Junior Maximilian Schulz (Northeim, Germany/Gymnasium Corvinianum) sent the ball across the six-yard box as two UNCG players allowed the ball to go through. Senior forward Hakan Ilhan (Stuttgart, Germany/Univ. of Stuttgart) drilled the ball past Carpenter tying the game with his third goal in the past two games.
UNCG took lead back for the night in the 25th minute of play as it scored off another corner kick. The Spartans played a short corner where Aaron Reifschneider (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland) sent a cross to the back post. Gudmundsson got his head on the cross and rammed it into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead.
UNCG played the final 6:40 of the first half down a player after the Spartans were issued a red card. The Spartans kept control of the play for most of the first half, holding a 9-5 edge in shots as Gudmundsson posted a half-high three shots.
Longwood was issued two red cards early in the second half so the Spartans went from down a man to holding the advantage the final 30:32 of the half. Sophomore forward Austin Miller (High Point, N.C./High Point Central) had a strong chance in the 63rd minute of play as he got on the end of a cross at the six-yard box, but pushed it over the crossbar.
The Spartans extended their lead to 3-1 in the 78th minute of play as Ilhan sent Michael Holzer (Tettnang, Germany/Merz-Schule) in down the left-hand side. Holzer sent a cross into the box where Gudmundsson drove a header into the goal for his second tally of the evening and his fourth of the year, surpassing last year's total.
After the third red card of the evening for Longwood made it a 10-versus-8 game, the Spartans found the back of the net in the 83rd minute. Ilhan sent a long cross into the box where freshman Jannick Martens (Henstedt-Ulzberg, Germany/Alstergymnasium) corralled the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and rocketed a shot into the near corner for his first career goal.
UNCG finished the game with a 20-7 advantage in shots, including an 11-2 edge in the second half. The Spartans also held a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks as they scored two of their four goals off of set pieces.
UNCG holds its 2012 home opener Friday evening as the Spartans host No. 23 NC State. Game time is set for 8 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium with a free fireworks show following the game. Additionally, the first 500 fans will receive Mellow Mushroom mystery gift cards.
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