Men’s Soccer Ties UNC Asheville 1-1 in 2011 Opener
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer men's soccer team battled its way to a 1-1 tie against UNC Asheville on Saturday afternoon at Greenwood Soccer Field.
Despite holding a 15-9 edge in shots and a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks, the Bears settled for a draw in the 2011 regular season opener for both squads.
The game was noticeably affected in its entirety by winds gusts approaching 40 miles an hour from nearby Hurricane Irene, which forced both teams to adjust their game strategies early on.
Mercer got the first quality scoring chance of the contest, in the ninth minute, when sophomore forward Ehjayson Henry beat two defenders to a ball and ripped a shot from the 18-yard line that was corralled by Asheville goalkeeper Lassi Hurskainen.
Despite the Bears controlling play throughout the first stanza, including holding the Bulldogs to zero shots, the score remained 0-0 going into halftime.
The action picked up right away to start the second half when junior Richie Edmondson found himself all alone in the box. The Montego Bay, Jamaica native ripped a shot in the 49th minute of play that careened off the right post and back into play.
UNC Asheville took advantage of its first shot of the game, in the 51st minute, when senior Brandon Lassen collected a big ball and slipped a shot in past freshman Greg Ranjitsingh to give the home team a 1-0 advantage.
The Orange and Black continued to press on, however, and found an equalizer seconds later when sophomore Ryan King weaved his way through the Asheville defense and slid in a shot low and right of Hurskainen to tie the game up, at 1-1.
That is the way things stayed for the remainder of regulation, as neither team found the back of the net forcing two overtime periods.
In the first overtime session, the best chance of the period came with 20 seconds remaining when Lassen ripped a shot from the right side that Ranjitsingh turned away to keep the game tied at 1-1.
The second overtime session featured a golden chance for the Bears when freshman Ashani Samuels headed a corner kick on net that Hurskainen punched aside to preserve the 1-1 final score.
Mercer returns to the pitch on September 1 when it welcomes Conference USA power UAB to Macon. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Bear Field.