TAMPA, FL – The North Georgia men's soccer team
battled their fourth nationally ranked opponent of the year on
Thursday evening and after a scoreless first half, the 15th-ranked
Tampa Spartans took over and escaped with a 2-0 victory in
North Georgia's two-game winning streak ends as the Saints fall to 7-4-3 overall on the season, while the Spartans improve to 10-5-1 on the year.
The first half saw plenty of back-and-forth action between the squads. North Georgia edged Tampa 4-3 in shots in the period as David Niepel, the Spartan keeper, was forced to make two saves. UT countered with a shot on goal of its own, but the match went into the half without a score.
Tampa's leading goal scorer Lister Warren seemed poised to break the tie early in the second half as he was 1 v. 1 against Saints keeper Kristopher Alonzo who made the save to keep it even.
Just over 20 minutes into the second half, the Spartans broke through with two goals in a 29 second span. First, sophomore Brian Fekete beat several North Georgia defenders before burying a hard shot inside the far post for his third goal of the season and the first goal of the contest.
Less than a minute later, Dominic Goncalves sent a pass across to Kevin Knowles who in turn fed the ball to Warren. Warren put it in the back of the net for his tenth goal of 2010, giving the Spartans a 2-0 advantage.
The Saints had limited chances down the stretch as the Tampa defense came up big to give the Spartans their first victory in over a week.
North Georgia will now make their way up the coast to St. Augustine for Saturday evening's matchup with Flagler College. The Peach Belt Conference matchup will feature a battle for the fourth seed and a chance to host in the upcoming PBC Tournament. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Saints Field.