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HICKORY, NC- The North Georgia men's soccer team outshot Lenoir-Rhyne, 18-4, but fell late, 1-0, in a non-conference game played Wednesday night in Hickory, North Carolina.
The Saints gave themselves plenty of opportunities on the road but failed to find the net in all of them. Gustavo Cunha had a quality shot in the 88th minute for the potential equalizer, but the Bears goalkeeper made a great save and sent the ball over the top of the post, propelling Lenoir-Rhyne to their 1-0 victory. Stefan Dill clearly earned the victory Wednesday night at Irwin Belk Track for the Bears, saving six shots and earning himself the shutout win.
The game went scoreless in the first half with neither side finding a scoring opportunity. That would all change in the 80th minute when Lenoir-Rhyne forward Sven Picton found the back of the net on a breakaway attack. Picton blew the shot by steady Saints keeper Rade Tanaskovic, and the shot would prove to be the game-winner.
The Saints owned the shot chart finishing with 18 total in the game, six of them coming on goal. The host Bears only finished with four shots in the game, with the lone one on goal resulting in the only score of the game. The goal was Picton's first of the season. The Saints also earned themselves eight corner kicks in the game compared to just two on the opposing side.
This is the second time this season the Saints have been shutout. The loss also halts the winning streak the Saints have recently built up and puts their record at 2-2-1 on the early season.
North Georgia must now get back to business and prepare for their second Peach Belt game on the season. The Saints will welcome in UNC-Pembroke (5-0) on Saturday afternoon, a team they have finished in a draw with the past two seasons. North Georgia will look to start the PBC season off 2-0 for the first time in Pat Parris' tenure at North Georgia.
The game is set to kickoff at 3:30 PM at the North Georgia Soccer Complex in Dahlonega, Georgia. The game will also be preceded by the Lady Saints soccer squad, their kickoff is set for 1:00 PM.