Box Score (PDF)
GREENVILLE, S.C. – A very evenly played match ended with an overtime goal by Lewis Hawke of Furman (2-1), giving the Paladins a 2-1 victory over North Florida men's soccer (2-1) this evening. The game was the Friday night finale of the Gray Griffin Memorial Tournament.
The Paladins were able to draw one final corner in the final minute of the first overtime session. Kevin Pahl was able to volley a ball over to Hawke who headed home the game-winning score. The goal was the sophomore's first of the season.
"Despite a road, overtime loss, I'm proud of our effort tonight," said Head Coach Derek Marinatos. "We came out ready to play and in the end this is a great measuring stick for our team."
After a scoreless first half, both squads scored within minutes of each other beginning with Furman in the 52nd minute. Eli Pinner was able to slip a pass to Evan De Ycaza for the game's first goal. The lead did not last long, in fact just 3:32. Helge Pietschmann, the Atlantic Sun's leading assist man, found Simen Solstad for the equalizer in the 56th minute. It was Solstad's third goal of the season and he has now scored in four-consecutive games dating back to last season.
"We were glad to get the goal when we did, but we were unfortunate to not get a second goal in the net," added Marinatos. "Tonight was a battle and we have to capitalize on those late chances to defeat a team like this."
Both teams created a number of chances and the game could have easily been decided on any different bounce of the ball. Furman owned an 11-8 advantage in shots but only four of them went on goal compared to five by UNF.
Paladin goalkeeper Sven Lissek made four stops in goal while Osprey netminder Tord Pedersen made two in his third start of the season.
The game was played with heavy hearts on the Furman side of the ball as the program retired the jersey of Gray Griffen who tragically passed away during the team's NCAA Tournament run in 2002. Griffin was a teammate of current U.S. National star Clint Dempsey at Furman.
"A credit to Furman and their program," said Marinatos. "They created a great environment for tonight's game and did a great job honoring their former player."
The result speaks volumes to where the men's soccer program has come in just two seasons. The Paladins pinned a 5-0 setback on the Ospreys in their last meeting in 2012. Furman is the preseason favorite to win the Southern Conference after an 11-5-2 campaign last season.
The Ospreys have one more game left of the Gray Griffin Memorial Tournament scheduled for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. against The College of Charleston. The Cougars picked up their first win of the season earlier today with a 2-0 win over Georgia State in the Tournament's opening game.