Braves Pick Up First League Win At Georgia Southwestern
AMERICUS, Ga. – Brett Luccia punched in a
56th-minute strike to bring UNCP back from an early 1-0 deficit and
give the Braves their first Peach Belt Conference victory of the
season with a 2-1 win over home-standing Georgia Southwestern on
Saturday afternoon at Hurricanes Field.
The triumph snapped a three-game winless streak for UNCP (3-6-2, 1-3-1 PBC) who improved to 5-0-0 all-time against Georgia Southwestern (1-8-0, 0-3-0) with the result as well. Ricardo Arias netted his first collegiate goal in the first half to provide the other score for the Braves, with Andrew Brown tallying an assist on Luccia's game-changer in the final stanza.
UNCP recorded an 18-7 edge in the shots column, including a dominant 10-2 disparity in the second half. Braves' netminder Ryan Hanson registered a pair of saves over a complete game between the pipes for the Black and Gold, while GSW goalkeeper David Porley turned in nine saves in the losing effort. UNCP owned an 11-2 advantage in the corner kicks column as well.
Georgia Southwestern got off the mark quickly as Kyle Hutton's perfectly-placed corner kick attempt was redirected into the net by Ross Sellers for the early 1-0 lead. The advantage would hold up for nearly 35 minutes before Porley's save off a short-range strike by Casey Francis was corralled by Arias who connected on an ensuing strike to tie the score.
The Braves had a majority of the play in the second half, but came away empty on a handful of occasions. It only took one opportunity, however, as Brown fed Luccia on a precision lead-in pass down the middle and the freshman finished the scoring chance with a laser strike past Porley at the 55:21 mark.
UNCP will be back in action again on Wednesday afternoon when the Braves head to Florence, S.C., to battle league nemesis Francis Marion (3-6-1, 1-2-0). Kickoff has been set for 4 p.m. at the FMU Soccer Field.