No. 4 Ga. Southern 0
No. 1 Elon 1
GSU: Eliminated from SoCon Tournament
CARY, N.C. — Georgia Southern Men’s Soccer’s 2012 season came to an end on Thursday night with a 1-0 loss to No. 23 Elon in the semifinal round of the SoCon Tournament. The nation’s leading scorer, Chris Thomas scored the Phoenix’ lone goal in the match, his 23rd of the year to doom the Eagles.
“This was a tough game,” said head coach Kevin Kennedy. “Both teams had their moments, and Elon took advantage of a stretch when we were disconnected, and it paid off for them in a goal. We felt like we could have and should have gotten the win tonight, so everyone is gutted after a match like this.”
The Eagles produced one of their best scoring opportunities of the first half with 20 minutes remaining in the opening period. All-SoCon Honoree Drew Ruggles laced a free kick shot across the face of goal from 35 yards, but the Elon keeper was able to parry the shot away for a GSU corner kick.
Elon, however, took a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute as SoCon Player of the Year Chris Thomas scored a fortuitous goal. He finished off a rebounded shot inside the penalty area to give the Phoenix their first lead in the match.
Just three minutes later, Witt Carlisle found the woodwork on a shot from the edge of the six-yard box as the Eagles pushed forward in search of the equalizer. Neither team was able to find a goal in the waning minutes of the first half.
The Eagles were unable to exert much pressure until late in the second half. David Vargas Masis nearly found the equalizer just six minute from full time, but his shot swerved just wide of the net.
The Eagles pressed forward and got a few more chances in the final two minutes, but were unable to score and extend the 2012 season.
Georgia Southern ends the 2012 campaign with a 6-12-1 overall record.
The Eagles were out-shot 14-11 with the Phoenix taking a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal. GSU goalkeeper Neal Bates made five saves in the match while the Eagles took more corners, 8-to-6.