September 21, 2011

Even Stevens

COLUMBUS, Ga. – After losses on the road and at home, the Georgia Southwestern men's soccer team hoped a neutral site game would change things.  The Hurricanes avoided their fourth consecutive loss by earning a 1-1 draw against Lincoln Memorial (2-2-2) on Thursday night on the campus of Columbus State University.

The Blue & Gold first conceded a goal when a misplayed ball by the backline was taken by LMU's Leonardo Germniani for a one on one with GSW keeper Garrett Blamire. Germiani played the ball to the left of a sliding Blamire and past a sliding Hurricane defender for the goal in the 17th minute.

However, for the first time this season, the Hurricanes were able to answer with a goal of their own after going down in a match. The equalizer would come just 13 minutes after LMU's goal. Junior midfielder KleesBatner Loembet-Makaya crossed the ball into the box from the left side where freshman Hunter Sams volleyed the ball in with his right foot for his first collegiate goal in the 30th minute.

With just minutes left in regulation, a Georgia Southwestern attack gave junior Ross Sellers a quality shot on goal that forced a big save from LMU goalkeeper Michael Watkins. The two teams would play through both overtime periods without scoring a goal to earn the draw.

Freshman goalkeeper, Garrett Blamire, made four saves over the course of the 110 minutes to earn the draw in his first career start. GSW was credited with 13 shots on the night with Loembet-Makaya and sophomore forward Ryan Wakenigg each firing three shots.

Ties may seem like an unusual occurrence to fans of the Blue & Gold and that's because they are. The last time GSW had ended a match in a draw was nearly six years ago. The Hurricanes played Reinhardt University to a draw on September 24th, 2005. Thursday's tie with Lincoln Memorial was just the third ever in program history. It was also the first for GSW as a Division II member and the first under Coach Warren Russ.

The draw moved Georgia Southwestern's record to 2-3-1 on the season. They will be back on the pitch on Sunday against Florida Memorial University at 1:00 pm at Hurricane Field. Sunday's match will be the 'Canes last home non-conference match.

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