Late Goal Sinks Men's Soccer in 3-2 Loss to UNC-Wilmington
Sept. 5, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- - UNC-Wilmington forward Sam Leger scored the game-winning goal with 44 seconds remaining to push the Seahawks past The University of Memphis men's soccer team, 3-2, in the Tigers regular season opener. The loss marks the Tigers' first home-opening loss in seven tries dating back to the 1990 season.
For the third consecutive match, Memphis gave up a goal in the early minutes of the match. Just three minutes in, Thomas King connected on a corner kick by Jason Small to give UNCW (2-0) the early 1-0 lead.
Memphis (0-1) battled back quickly to knot the match at 1-1 when sophomore midfielder Dayton O'Brien converted on a penalty kick in the seventh minute.
O'Brien would later put Memphis ahead 2-1 in the 29th minute when his free kick curled inside the right post and into the back of the net.
Seahawk reserve Coco Vaccaflores scored on a cross from Nick Acosta to tie the game at 2-2.
Memphis had a chance to take the lead late in the match when they drew a second penalty kick, but Seahawk keeper Brad Knighton made a diving save on O'Brien's shot to turn the Tigers back.
Leger and Vaccaflores teamed up in the 90th minute of the contest to give UNCW the 3-2 advantage.
Clark Talley made three saves and was saddled with loss for Memphis, who outshot UNCW 19-11 in the contest. Seahawk goalie Knighton made eight saves to record the win.
"This is a disappointing result," head coach Richie Grant said. "The players gave 100 percent. The game could have gone either way. You have to the keeper for making the save on the penalty kick. This was an excellent first game and it showed how competitive regular season games will be." Grant concluded.
In the first game of the day, Illinois-Chicago got an overtime goal from Josh Robinson to defeat an undermanned Centenary squad, 2-1.
UIC got on the board in the 33rd minute behind the leg of midfielder Dennis King, who blasted a 20-yard shot to the back of the net after receiving a throw-in from Chris Pipis.
After Centenary's Ryan Nicholson was sent off for his second yellow card, the Gents Jeffrey Krulin tied the match at one on a free kick from 24 yards in the the 88th minute. The teams would play to a draw through remainder of regulation. However, Robinson made the overtime period a short one, rebounding a shot by Eric Cervantes that had been blocked by CC keeper Stefan Nicola and knocking it home for the win.
UIC goalie Ross Cain made nine saves in the win.
Illinois-Chicago will Wilmington in the first game on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. Memphis will return to action when they host Centenary in the final matchup of the Memphis-Diadora Tournament. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Echles Field.