Bucs extend unbeaten streak against ranked opponents to four games
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 2, 2012) – The ETSU men’s soccer team continued its recent success against ranked opponents, taking down No. 17 UAB, 1-0, courtesy of junior David Geno’s (Kingsport, Tenn.) golden goal with 2:04 remaining in double-overtime on Sunday afternoon at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
As the clock wound down in the final overtime session, redshirt senior Colin Pugh (Dublin, Ireland) sent a ball across the field to an oncoming Franck Doumbe (Silver Spring, Md.). Doumbe controlled the cross just inside the right half of the penalty area, sending a pass to Geno just outside the top of the six-yard box who struck gold for the Bucs’ first home win against a ranked team in program history.
“Franck played a great ball down to me in the middle of the box,” Geno said. “I was just there to put it away. This was a huge win for us, beating a ranked team. I can’t say enough about the defense and how well we defended today.”
ETSU (3-1-0) is now unbeaten in four straight games against the NSCAA Top 25, having tied then-No. 25 Furman and beaten then-No. 24 UNC Greensboro and then-No. 14 William and Mary last year. The win also ended a series of three games in six days for ETSU, in which it went 3-0-0 with wins against UNCG, Presbyterian and UAB.
UAB (2-1-1) suffers its first loss of the season after playing to a, 1-1, draw on Friday against No. 8 Charlotte. The loss is also the Blazers’ first in the regular season since Oct. 4 of last year, ending an 11-game regular season unbeaten streak.
“This was a difficult game for us,” fifth-year ETSU head coach Scott Calabrese said. “UAB is one of the top teams in college soccer, and gave us quite a test today.
“I’m extremely proud of how our team dealt with it. We had to defend deep against a lot of set pieces for quite some time, and were put under pressure a bit in the second half. We also played our game, and were able to possess the ball and move the ball quickly to create a lot of chances as well.”
The first half played in favor of ETSU, taking eleven shots to UAB’s three. The Buccaneers were threatened though, needing redshirt junior goalkeeper Ryan Coulter (Dublin, Ireland) to pull through midway into the half for one of his five saves on the afternoon. Kofi Gyawu fired a shot from close range which the Irish keeper saved, but the rebound went straight to Karl Chester. With an open net in front, Chester fired a shot that missed wide right to keep the Blazers off the scoreboard.
When it was all said and done, Coulter earned his second shutout of the season and has now blanked the last four ranked opponents ETSU has played dating back to last season.
Five minutes after UAB’s near goal, junior defender Nate Hodges (Meridian, Miss.) almost added his second score of the week. Following a corner kick from Pugh, Hodges gained control of the ball near goal and blasted a shot that beat UAB keeper Raphael Ville. Luckily for the Blazers, the defense did its job and was standing on the goal line to make the save and keep the game scoreless.
In the second half, ETSU managed just two shots while the Blazers took five attempts at goal and seven corners. Coulter and the ETSU back line held off each attack, including a corner with five seconds remaining in regulation.
The overtimes belonged to ETSU, outshooting the Blazers, 3-1, in the two periods. UAB’s only shot of the extra sessions came in the 107th minute, which Coulter saved before ETSU went on the attack and Geno put in the game-winner.
ETSU’s next game comes on Saturday, as the Buccaneers will host the Radford Highlanders inside Summers-Taylor Stadium at 7 p.m.
For more information on ETSU men’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer links.
- Geno’s goal with 2:04 remaining was his team-leading third of the season, while he also leads the Bucs in game-winning goals with two.
- In seven all-time meetings against NSCAA nationally ranked opponents, ETSU now holds a 3-3-1 record. The Bucs are also unbeaten in their last four matches against nationally ranked teams, 3-0-1.
- The victory was ETSU’s first against a ranked opponent inside Summers-Taylor Stadium. The Bucs’ other two results at home were a loss to then-No. 4 UNC in 2010, and a scoreless tie to then-No. 25 Furman last year.
- ETSU has not allowed a goal against a NSCAA Top 25 team since losing to then-No. 4 UNC in 2010. The Bucs and goalkeeper Ryan Coutler (Dublin, Ireland) currently hold a 417:39 shutout streak against ranked squads.