September 4, 2009

Saints Avoid Shark Attack, Escape 2-0 Over Nova

Box Score

DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia College & State University utilized a score in each period and some outstanding saves in goal to avoid the Shark attack and defeat Nova Southeastern 2-0 Friday evening under the lights in non-conference action at the Soccer Complex.

North Georgia improves to 2-1 on the season, eclipsing their home win total from a year ago just two games into the home portion of the 2009 schedule, while Nova Southeastern drops a game under the .500 mark at 1-2 on the season.

The Saints wasted little time putting the score on the board as Justin Gonzalez took a deflection from Eric York at the top of the box in the seventh minute, turned and sent a liner inside the right post for his first score of the season and first goal in a North Georgia uniform.

Both teams would fight for the next 75 minutes without a score, but the Saints found an insurance goal in the 82nd minute as Cody McKelvey notched his first collegiate goal on a pass from none other then Gonzalez to give North Georgia a two-goal advantage.

The Sharks had plenty of chances to get on the board, including the 74th minute when Nova had two golden opportunities to tie the game. Aly Hassan sent a shot on goal, but Rade Tanaskovic dove to his left to deflect the ball directly to David Wahlberg who promptly sent a laser off the post, later to be cleared by a North Georgia defender. The Saints would put the game out of reach minutes later with the McKelvey game-winner.

Nova Southeastern outshot the Saints 18-12 and held a 9-6 advantage in corner kicks, but North Georgia keeper Tanaskovic put on a show in goal, recording seven saves and displaying arguably his best performance of his 20 games in a Saints’ uniform.

North Georgia’s two goals on Friday evening were their first-ever scores against Nova Southeastern in school history, having gone 0-2 against the Sharks in the only two meetings between the teams with Nova outscoring the Saints 10-0 in those games.

The win for North Georgia is the 15th career victory for head coach Pat Parris in his third season at the helm of the Saints.

North Georgia will have Saturday off before returning to action at home against the #1 team in the country, the University of Tampa. The Spartans make their way to Dahlonega looking to break-up the Saints’ current three-game home winning streak that dates back to the 2008 season. Kickoff for the much-anticipated game will be at 3:30 p.m. at the Soccer Complex.