October 15, 2011

Hurricanes break even with the Bearcats

AMERICUS, Ga. – As the saying goes, "things happen in pairs." Less than one month after the Georgia Southwestern men's  soccer team's first draw in nearly six years, the Hurricanes earned a hard-fought draw against PBC foe Lander University. Saturday's  1-1 tie was the first ever tie for the Blue & Gold in a conference match since joining the Peach Belt in 2006. Saturday's match took place on "Kick Out Cancer" day at Georgia Southwestern with the men's program donating all proceeds from the day's action to Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition.

The match would begin with a scoreless first half. The 'Canes were outshot seven to three by the Bearcats. GSW threatened in the 19th minute after senior midfielder Shane McKay fired a shot from the left side of the box that was blocked by Lander keeper Matthew Atkinson. The ball would bounce in the box to GSW senior James Romaniw who attempted to fire the ball back in off the rebound. Romaniw's shot would be blocked by a sliding Lander defenseman.

The action would pick up in the second half. Ten minutes into the half Shane McKay would conjure up some of his magic from his two-goal performance on Wednesday at Clayton State. McKay would take a Mauricio Chaves pass in the middle of the pitch and unleash a shot from about ten yards outside of the box past a diving Matthew Atkinson to the far post. McKay's third goal in two games would give the Hurricanes the lead with 35 minutes remaining.

The Georgia Southwestern defense would protect their 1-0 lead for over twenty minutes before giving up the equalizer to Lander. Lander's goal came off Michael Johansson's corner kick that was headed in by Timm Hocke in the 77th minute.

Regulation would end before either team could register a go-ahead goal. The game would head into overtime for just the second time in the Hurricanes' season.

The first extra frame was an even battle with both teams registering two shots with one of them being on goal. GSW's shot on goal in the first overtime would come off the foot of Ryan Wakenigg. Wakenigg would also threaten with a near game-winner in the second overtime period.

The sophomore took a backwards header from freshman Joshua Manga in stride. Wakenigg would be unable to settle the ball, which forced him to take a hurried shot. His shot would sail straight into the hands of the Lander keeper Atkinson in the 101st minute of the match.

After 110 minutes of soccer, the teams would walk off Hurricane Field with the 1-1 tie. The draw will continue to build the end of the year drama as the Hurricanes look to position themselves for the PBC Tournament. Next up for the Blue & Gold are the Saints of North Georgia. The away match is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19th at 7:30 PM on the campus of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia.