Quintonio Lema and his University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Menís Soccer teammates suffered its first home loss in Southern Conference play on a soggy night as they suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 double overtime defeat to East Tennessee State at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
The game was played in constant rain and featured four goals in the final 14 minutes of the second half of play in the crazy, see-saw contest.
UNCG started the soggy night quickly, taking an early 1-0 lead just 7:32 into the game. UNCG took advantage of a corner kick where senior Damieon Thomas got a shot off in traffic from 10-yards out. Thomasí shot was cleared off the line by an ETSU defender but senior midfielder Rouven Wahlfeldt rammed the rebound past goalkeeper Jonny Sutherland for his second goal of the year and a 1-0 lead.
Wahlfeldt looked like he was going to give UNCG a two-goal lead from almost the same exact spot in the 24th minute. UNCG took advantage of another corner kick and the ball was flicked back to the near post where Wahlfeldt got a shot off but it careened off the crossbar to keep the game at 1-0.
ETSU tied the game in the 31st minute when Jeffrey George saw his shot from 18-yards out blocked by a UNCG defender but the referee deemed it played with a handball and awarded a penalty kick. Fletcher Ekern stepped up and ripped a shot to the bottom right corner where senior goalkeeper Logan Rohde made a diving stab at but the ball just trickled off his hands and into the side netting, tying the game at 1-1.
In the closing minutes of the first half, UNCG came within inches in the 44th minute. Sophomore midfielder Leeroy Maguraushe struck a shot from 20-yards out that curved towards the top corner but Sutherland made a diving stop to keep it tied at 1-1.
UNCG took a 2-1 lead in the 77th minute of play as Jesper Larsson won the ball in the midfield and found Maguraushe open at the top of the 18-yard box. Maguraushe ripped a bending shot into the side netting past Sutherland for his first goal of the season and a 2-1 advantage.
ETSU answered back in less than five minutes as Javier Alberto struck in the 82nd minute. He won the ball in the midfield and drove the center before knocking a shot in from 25-yards out that beat Rohde to tie the game at 2-2. ETSU took a 3-2 lead just under five minutes later as the Spartans were called for a foul and red card in the box on freshman Casey Penland, awarding another penalty kick to ETSU. Ekern stepped up again and beat Rohde cleanly for the go-ahead goal.
UNCG showed its fight though despite playing a man down, tied the game just 22 seconds later. UNCG raced down the field and sophomore Alexander Lewis beat two defenders and struck a shot on goal that Sutherland pushed out front. The rebound caromed right off an ETSU defender and into the back of the net to tie the game at 3-3 on the own goal.
Each team had chances in the closing minutes of regulation and the first overtime, but ETSU got the game-winning goal in the 102nd minute. Ekern converted his third goal of the game, beating Rohde from 18-yards out to give the Bucs the 4-3 victory.