October 19, 2011

Heartbreak for the Hurricanes

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – As the Georgia Southwestern men's soccer team continued to battle for playoff position, the Blue & Gold would travel north to the campus of North Georgia College and State University to try and make headway in the PBC standings. The Hurricanes would force two overtimes, but the Saints would end the match in heart wrenching fashion.

After the initial 45 minutes of the match, neither team had mustered a goal. GSW got two shots from sophomore Ryan Wakenigg and one from freshman Hunter Sams. Junior goalkeeper Cade Jones tallied four saves in the half.

Freshman goalkeeper would take over for Jones in the second half. Blamire would make two saves in the first 20 minutes of the second half to keep the shutout intact. GSW would threaten in 74th minute when a Shane McKay shot forced a save from North Georgia goalkeeper Kristopher Alonzo. McKay would test Alonzo again in the 79th minute, which resulted in another save for the Saint keeper.

The Saints would come within inches of putting away the game in the 83rd minute, but Max Angel's shot hit the post. Regulation would end with a last second shot from midfielder KleesBatner Loembet-Makaya, which was also saved by Kristopher Alonzo.

The Hurricanes would head to their second consecutive overtime match and their third this season. The first extra frame began with a Hunter Sams shot and a Shane McKay header. However, both failed to give GSW a game-winning goal. The frame would end with Garrett Blamire saving a Juan Hurtado shot.

The final frame would see North Georgia score the game-winning goal in the 105th minute. Max Angel would get redemption for his shot that hit the post in the 83rd minute. Angel's game winner came off a free kick from the edge of the box.

GSW had three players (McKay, Sams and Wakenigg) lead them with three shots taken. Shane McKay had two that were on goal and Hunter Sams also had a shot on goal. Goalkeeper Garrett Blamire would make three saves in his 70 minutes in goal in relief of Cade Jones.

The victory improves the North Georgia record to 7-6-1 and 3-3-0 in Peach Belt play. The Georgia Southwestern loss moved their record to 3-9-2 (0-5-1 PBC). Coach Russ and company will return home for a Saturday match against Francis Marion at 3:30 pm. The matchup between the Hurricanes and the Patriots will have serious Peach Belt Tournament implications, so come cheer on the Blue & Gold at Hurricane Field Saturday afternoon.