Braves Rally To Shock Montevallo
MONTEVALLO, Ala. – Phil Jackson scored his second goal of the game in the 37th minute to give Montevallo a comfortable 3-0 lead heading into intermission, but visiting UNCP used a second half hat trick from Andy Pullin, as well as Eirik Torgerson's Golden Goal 95 seconds into double overtime, to shock the Falcons, 4-3, Saturday evening at Varsity Field.
The result helped UNCP (4-4-1, 1-1-0 PBC) snap a two-game skid while also giving the Black and Gold an effective cure to its ills after a disheartening double overtime loss to No. 4 Lees-McRae on Wednesday. The setback snapped a two-game unbeaten streak for Montevallo (4-3-1, 0-2-0) who was coming off a 1-0 upset victory at No. 25 West Florida on Tuesday.
Pullin's performance was the first hat trick for a UNCP player since former Brave Miguel Ferrer netted three goals at Barton on Oct. 18, 2007. Rondell Honora and Daniel Bougt registered assists for the Braves on Saturday as well. Goalkeeper Dean Moore booked seven saves in logging every minute of the second half and overtime for the Braves, with netminder Robert Mueller logging a trio of saves in a losing effort for the Falcons.
“Assistant coach Chad Steuck delivered a halftime speech worthy of General George S. Patton preparing the Allied troops to invade Italy,” said head coach Mike Schaeffer. “The guys were very inspired by it. Everybody just worked their tails off in the second half. Dean Moore made some big saves and everybody else just dug in to get it done. We just need to keep responding the rest of the season.”
Jackson scored twice and assisted on Nathaniel Foster's goal in the 25th minute to give the hosts a 3-0 lead, as well as an 8-2 shot advantage at the break, but the cushion proved to be moot as Pullin netted a penalty kick goal at the 55:46 mark, added his second goal 21 seconds later and netted the Equalizer with just more than three minutes remaining to send the game into overtime. UNCP scored its first two goals of the night playing a man down after Ian Wagner was sent off the pitch in the 50th minute.
Montevallo played a man richer after Ian Wagner was sent off in the 50th minute, but the Falcons soon saw their power play swing with the ejections of starters Arran McCarthy (64:13) and Nathan Archard (97:14). Despite posting just two shots in the first half, the Braves tallied eight strikes in the second, and then outshot the Falcons 2-0 in extra time.
UNCP will be back in action again on Wednesday when the Braves return home to battle region rival Mount Olive (4-4-0) at Varsity Grounds. Game time has been set for 7 p.m. and admission to all 2009 UNCP home soccer games is free.