Eagles Drop Preseason Tilt Against Darton, 1-0
STATESBORO, Ga. – A counterattack goal in the 26th minute pushed Darton College past Georgia Southern in a men’s soccer exhibition on Friday evening at Eagle Field. The Eagles ruled the run of play, but could not find the back of the net in the season’s first tune-up match. GSU is back in action on Monday afternoon against Lander at 4 p.m. from Eagle Field.
“Finishing the chances aside, I felt like we had a lot of bright spots tonight,” said Head Coach Kevin Kennedy. “I thought Hunter Norton and Seth Prieto did great for us in midfield as well as Joe Hughes and Reed Norton with their combination play. When Rocco Bagley came into the match, I felt like he made an impact, but it came down to the final touch and final pass all night not being there. We got caught on the break once and sometimes that’s soccer. Its certainly something for us to learn from as we move forward.”
Darton took the lead in the 26th minute off a goal by Jowayne Laidley against the run of play. A cross to the center of the box by Andrew Palumbo put Laidley in position for the shot past the Southern goalkeeper for a 1-0 Caviler lead. The shot was Darton’s first, and only, shot on goal in the first half.
With 18:38 remaining in the first half, lightning within the 10-mile radius of the stadium brought a halt to the match. After an approximately 35 minute delay the match resumed with the Eagles taking eight shots, three on goal in the opening half of play.
The Eagles had a number of golden chances in the second half, headlined by freshman Emanuel Raji’s diving header in the 67th minute. A free kick deep in DC territory allowed Drew Ruggles to bend the ball to the back post where Raji headed the ball towards goal. A late defender saved the ball off the line, denying the freshman his first collegiate goal.
With light fading fast, 10 minutes of the match were removed between the 75th and 85th minutes, producing a final sprint for goal.
In the final minute, Ruggles got another of his six chances on target, but the final try of the match was saved as the Eagles finished the match with eight of their 14 total shots on frame.
The Eagles open the 2012 regular season in just over a week on the road against UAB. GSU has one more preseason match as Lander comes to Eagle Field on Monday afternoon at 4 p.m.
- Category: Men's Soccer
- Published on Friday, 17 August 2012 21:42