Braves' Second Half Surge Topples Bulldogs, 3-1
PEMBROKE – Despite a tied 1-1 score at halftime, the UNCP men's soccer team used a strong offensive force to collect an additional two goals in the final half to record a 3-1 victory over region rival Wingate and remain undefeated on Tuesday evening at Varsity Grounds.
UNCP (3-0-0) started the game with an aggressive push and capitalized on a header inside the box by sophomore Matt MacDougall at the 18:08 mark. Freshman Reece Rooney and sophomore Sam Miles each notched an assist on the goal. Less than 10 minutes later, Wingate (2-1-0) found the opportunity to attack the goal as Dillon Payne shot from the far left post to equal out the score.
After returning from halftime, the Braves regained momentum and spent a majority of the half on an offensive strike. In the 69th minute, Miles attempted a shot on goal but goalkeeper Sanjit Kang deflected the ball and on the rebound, Sean Hoek found an open Miles for a shot into the back of the net to notch the game-winning goal.
Newcomer Rico Laitinen made the most of a scuffle in the box and posted his first goal of his collegiate career giving the Black and Gold the final goal of the game at the 79:50 mark.
"It was a good win, but again we didn't play maybe as well in the first half," said UNCP head coach Phil Hindson. "We responded well in the second half and I am very proud of the guys. We have a lot of maturity going forward and a number of options in different players on offense as well as defense in future games."
The Bulldogs were awarded all four yellow cars and totaled 21 fouls compared to UNCP's nine. Five different Braves tallied assists on the three goals, while net minder Ryan Hanson gave up his first goal of the season regardless of his one save.
The Black and Gold finished the match with 16 shots, nine of which came in the second half, while Wingate only posted seven in the game. Wingate's Kang totaled three saves in his 90 minutes of action.
UNCP will open up Peach Belt Conference action on Friday when the squad travels to Americus, Ga. to battle Georgia Southwestern (0-1-1) in a 3:30 p.m. matchup.
To watch the full game click PART 1 or PART 2.