|ASU Men Fall In SoCon Semifinals|
|Written by Staff Reports|
|Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:35|
The Mountaineers struck first, but the Spartans came out on top as Appalachian State men’s soccer (10-5-4) fell to UNCG (10-7-2) in the semifinals of the 2011 Southern Conference Tournament at ASU Soccer Stadium on Friday. With the 2-1 win, UNCG advances to Sunday’s championship final, hosted by ASU in Boone.
After the scoreless first, Appalachian pushed the pressure in the second. Less than six minutes in the period,Sean Dreybus (Newport News, Va./Warwick) served up a corner kick from the left side. Off a slight deflection by UNCG, defender Harrison Delbridge (Raleigh, N.C./Needham Broughton) put the ball away for his third goal of the season and put the Apps in front 1-0.
The Spartans responded less than four minutes later, as Hakan Ilhan tallied his team-high 10th goal of the year off a pass by Will Mack to equalize the score.
The Mountaineers recorded eight shots in the period with three landing on goal, yet UNCG goalkeeper Peyton Ford stopped the Apps’ attack. The period ended with the score still tied, 1-1, and for the second-straight year, UNCG and ASU were destined for an overtime semifinal.
Six and a half minutes elapsed before either team managed a shot, but it was Spartan Fannar Arnarsson who scored his first goal of the season at the most opportune time. His shot from 20 yards skipped into the net to lift UNCG to the 2-1 win and send the Spartans to Sunday’s final; Ilhan had the assist.
The loss concludes what has been an up-and-down season for the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers went 11 games without a loss including tying the program record of four straight shutouts.
The unbeaten streak was broken by a home loss to Wofford and was followed by losses in two of the team’s three final games. During the slide, the Apps went a record four-straight matches without scoring a goal.
Wins over ETSU in the regular-season finale and Davidson in the SoCon quarterfinal provided positive notes late in the season, but the Spartans ended Appalachian’s championship hopes.
During the year, the Mountaineers broke the program record of shutouts in the season, completing 11 contests without a goal allowed. As an individual, goalkeeper Danny Free notched eight blank slates, setting a new Mountaineer best.
The Apps now wait and see if their efforts were sufficient to earn a berth in the NCAA Championship tournament, as the pairings are released Monday at NCAA.com.
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