DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia men's soccer team got back on track on Wednesday night as they defeated Young Harris 3-1 in non-conference action at the NGCSU Soccer Complex.
North Georgia (6-5-1) and Young Harris (8-4) each got off to a slow start with neither team having any scoring opportunities until the final 13 minutes of the first half, when a header by Jamie Gleason zipped just past the outside of the right post.
The next scoring opportunity for the Saints came minutes later when a header by Gray Phelps was turned away by Young Harris goalkeeper Wezly Barnard, while the lone scoring opportunity for the Mountain Lions came when James Thorpe fired a shot from just outside the box over the crossbar.
Saints head coach Pat Parris made some tactical substitutions to start the second half and the eleven players on the pitch came out flying with James Dobbin and Mikki Bozickovic providing a boost off the bench.
A little over a minute into the half Chris Griffith sent a cross into the box that Dobbin headed off of a Mountain Lion defender who cleared the ball right to the foot of Saints midfielder Max Angel. Angel settled and buried his shot into the left side of the net for his fourth goal of the season.
Young Harris responded quickly with a rush a few minutes later when Ilijia Ilic fired a point blank shot that Saints goalkeeper Kristopher Alonzo stopped with a sprawling save.
After the save from Alonzo the Saints settled down and controlled the pace of play for a majority of the second half. Korey Daigle added to North Georgia's lead in the 61st minute when he finished a cross from Malte Krapp in the upper 90 to an eruption of cheers from the Saints bench.
The Mountain Lions cut the Saints lead in half in the 77th minute when Stephen McGinn finished in the right side after a header from Ashley Walker. Young Harris continued to be pesky for the last 20 minutes of the half with several rushes before Gray Phelps gave North Georgia some breathing room when he converted a giveaway just outside the box for his second goal of the year.
In his second start of the year, Saints keeper Kristopher Alonzo made two saves and recorded his second win of the season, while Mountain Lion keeper Wezley Barnard recorded six saves.
North Georgia was given five corners to Young Harris' two and the Saints outshot the Mountain Lions 17-7.
The offensive output of three goals matches the Saints total for their past four games. Coach Parris hopes his players can carry this much-needed momentum with them on Saturday and into the finish of Peach Belt Conference play.
North Georgia returns to action on Saturday, October 15, when they travel to North Carolina to battle Mars Hill College in what will be their final non-conference match of the year.