DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia men's soccer
team continued a trend of late-game dramatics on Thursday evening,
taking Lees-McRae College to double overtime before a golden goal
in the 106th minute gave the Saints a 2-1 victory in non-conference
North Georgia takes the all-important battle of regionally ranked teams, improving to 6-3-3 overall on the season, while the Bobcats fall to 8-3-2 on the year in the Conference Carolinas and Peach Belt Conference matchup.
With time winding down in the second overtime it appeared that another tie was in the books, but Mikki Bozickovic had different plans as the sophomore avoided a trio of defenders for a clear look on goal and he didn't miss, sliding the shot inside the right post to send the Saints into celebration.
Bozickovic's golden goal in the 106th minute was his second career collegiate score, both of which are game winners. The Visoko, Bosnia, native scored his first career goal a year ago in a 2-1 win over Erskine College, finding the back of the net in the 75th minute to provide the margin of victory.
After a scoreless first half, the Saints jumped on top in the 57th minute as Daniel Vergara made a run into the box, found a cross from Chris Griffith, and headed it inside the left post for a 1-0 lead. Vergara's score was his first collegiate goal, while Griffith picked up his second assists of the year on the play.
With time dwindling down in regulation, the Bobcats got their chance and took full advantage as Jarret Fleharty fired a cross into the box and Lee Squires sent a header over the head of a leaping Kristopher Alonzo to knot the score at 1-1 and force the overtime periods.
Alonzo recorded his first-ever start in goal for North Georgia, allowing one goal and coming up with two saves for his first victory of the year. Bobcat goalkeeper Thomas Rusling allowed a pair of goals and notched six saves, but suffered his third defeat of the season.
North Georgia held a 16-9 advantage in shot, while just four corner kicks in the game fell into a 3-1 edge for the Saints. The two teams were whistled for a combined 35 fouls in the contest, while a trio of yellow cards were awarded.
The Saints will have Friday off before welcoming Francis Marion to town for a Peach Belt Conference matchup with the Patriots. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at the Soccer Complex. A full video broadcast and live in-game statistics will be made available courtesy of the North Georgia Sports Communications department.