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DAHLONEGA, GA- The North Georgia (3-2-1, 2-0 PBC) men's soccer team won their second straight Peach Belt Conference game to start the season, 3-2 over UNC-Pembroke on Saturday afternoon.
For the first time in Pat Parris' career at North Georgia, he is 2-0 to start the year in Peach Belt action. The Saints used three goals to down the visiting Braves, their highest goal total thus far this season.
UNC Pembroke (5-1, 0-1 PBC) would get on the board first on a goal by Michael Davis in the 9th minute. That would be about all the scoring the Braves would have until a penalty kick goal came late in the 86th minute. Zachry Samples was called for a foul just inside the box. Samples disagreed with the call, and was given a yellow card for his actions.
North Georgia would score a pair of goals in the first half before putting Pembroke away in the second on a penalty kick. Jamie Gleeson scored the equalizer on a strike from just outside the box after Gustavo Cunha left off a nice pass in the 27th minute.
The Saints would strike quickly again to give them the 2-1 lead on a strong finish from Samples. He was given a golden opportunity when the ball was sent in and deflected right between him and the keeper. Samples finished to give his team the lead heading into the half.
The intensity picked up on both sides into the second half as a number of fouls and cards were given. There were four yellow cards assigned in the half, each team with two a piece.
The Saints would be given another great opportunity when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 83rd minute. Pembroke's goalkeeper, Ryan Hanson, was called for the foul when trying to recover from his previous bobble, undercutting a Saints player. Max Angel stepped up and delivered the penalty kick goal, which turned out to be his second game-winner on the season.
Rade Tanaskovic played great in goal again for the Saints, finishing with three saves and recording his third win of the season. Tanaskovic made a key save when a poor pass gave Pembroke a clear break away. In what would appear to be an easy goal for the visitors turned out to be a save and was deflected out for a corner, boosting the Saints to another PBC victory.
Ben Tayi and Payne Wright played great defense again for the Saints, helping to hand the Braves their first loss of the season. Juan Hurtado was the anchor to the midfield along with Gustavo Cunha sparking the offensive attack for North Georgia.
The Saints return to action next Tuesday, playing host to Alabama-Huntsville in a non-conference matchup. Kickoff is set for 4:00 PM. The next conference match is set for next Saturday, when North Georgia will travel to Montevallo.