DAHLONEGA, Ga. – After going down 3-0 in the opening 45 minutes, Anderson University men’s soccer responded in the major way, scoring three goals in regulation and a fourth in overtime to earn a 4-3 comeback victory over North Georgia Wednesday evening at the UNG Soccer Complex.
With the victory, the Trojans improve to 6-2-1 overall with their South Atlantic Conference schedule returning on Sunday. Anderson earns its second-straight win and begins its first winning streak since beginning the year 4-0, its best start since the 2009 season. The win moves AU to 2-1 on their current four-match road trip, which ends on Sunday.
North Georgia (1-8) controlled the match in the first half with three-straight goals in the opening 35 minutes of action. Tyler Daly, Jamie Gleeson and Eddie Hurst all notched goals for the Nighthawks, as Daly and Glesson each had three points on the night as they assisted each other’s goals. Hurst’s goal came on a header from UNG forward Zach Tibbs.
After halftime, Anderson began its comeback with a score from freshman midfielder Brad Du Plooy who knocked in a pass from redshirt sophomore Henrique Gazzi. For the freshman, the goal was his first of his collegiate career.
Five minutes later in the 57th minute, Nighthawk goalkeeper Kris Alonzo tried to clear the ball out of danger, but freshman Aaron Roberson blocked the clearance and the ball bounced into the back of the net to bring the score to 3-2.
Roberson evened the score in the 79th minute when the freshman made a run past several UNG defenders and knocked a shot past Alonzo for his second goal on the night. For the Vero Beach, Fla. native, the goal was his fifth of the season and would eventually send the match into extra time. The tie at the end of regulation marked the fifth overtime match the Trojans have played in this season.
Just under two minutes into overtime, junior defender William Treichler fired a throw-in into the North Georgia box. Unable to clear the pass, Gazzi controlled the pass and sent the ball to the far post where he found redshirt sophomore Benoit Torres. Torres headed in the game-winner past Alonzo’s left to give Anderson its sixth win of the season. The golden goal marks Torres’ first goal of his career after assisting on two goals during the year.
“This was obviously not the way we wanted to start the match tonight, but the guys made the decision not to lose,” Anderson head coach John Murphy said. “We had some great efforts off the bench by Mark Allen, (William) Treichler and Benoit (Torres) who got the game-winner. We came together as a team and put forth the effort as a unit.”
Despite the shot category being even in the first half (9-9), AU won the shot battle in the final 47 minutes, 19-13. Gazzi, Roberson and junior Mattias Schyberg all tallied two shots on goal, which tied for the team-high. Freshman goalkeeper Bo Haug earned the victory making two saves, including a key save in 83rd minute when he stopped a Carlos Reyes shot after he got behind the AU backline on a breakaway. With the win, Haug moves to 5-2-1 for the season.
The Trojans return to action on Sunday, Oct. 6 when it heads to Tusculum for the final match of its four-match road trip. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.