Men’s Soccer Knocks Off League Leader Charleston, 2-1, in Overtime
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Georgia Southern Men’s Soccer closed the 2012 regular season on a winning note with a 2-1 overtime victory over the league leaders, College of Charleston. Goals in the 81st and 95th minutes gave GSU all three points and hosting honors in the 2012 SoCon tournament next weekend.
“Tonight was a very tough win for us against an extremely talented and determined College of Charleston team,” said head coach Kevin Kennedy. “I am extremely proud of the commitment that we showed defensively, particularly in the windy conditions.”
In the 71st minute, Charleston took a 1-0 lead with Luke Huggett’s fifth goal of the year, cleaning up a rebounded shot by Sam Redmond for the advantage.
The Eagles struck back 10 minutes later with a quick-strike equalizer. Hunter Norton won the ball just outside the center circle and took a few touches before feeding his brother, Reed Norton, in space at the edge of the 18-yard box. The freshman took a couple touches and ripped a left-footed shot from the corner of the six-yard box into the top-left corner of the net, hitting the crossbar on the way in for an equalizer.
The match went to overtime, but it was the Eagles who took advantage of their first opportunity. A corner kick was played short and high, allowing Drew Ruggles to run onto the ball and clip a secondary cross to the back post from the edge of the penalty area. Thomas Valikonis was on hand to head the game-winning goal into the net. It was Valikonis’ first goal of the season and came in his first appearance since September 26th.
“Reed scored an exceptional goal to even us and Thomas was very opportunistic to pick up the game winner,” said Kennedy. “We need to turn our focus to the tournament and get prepared for the first round next weekend.”
Georgia Southern’s performance was buoyed by the presence of the GSU men’s tennis team, who was in Charleston for a tournament this weekend. The added support helped lift the Eagles to finish the regular season at 5-11-1 and 3-3-1 in league play.
The victory locks the Eagles into the fourth seed in the 2012 SoCon Tournament, meaning Georgia Southern will host a postseason game for the second-straight season at Eagle Field. The Eagles will face either Wofford or UNCG on Sunday, November 4th, at a time to be announced.
- Category: Men's Soccer
- Published on Saturday, 27 October 2012 20:49