The University of North Georgia men’s soccer team was up 1-0 toward the end of the first half against Lincoln Memorial University on Wednesday, Oct. 11 in Dahlonega. Everything was going right for the Nighthawks until Adam Dowdy received a red card for North Georgia in the 40th minute.
Dowdy and a LMU player were chasing the ball on the defensive half for the Nighthawks, causing them to collide with each other. Due to the red card Dowdy was ejected out of the game and consequently North Georgia had to play a man down for the remainder of the game. The Nighthawks failed to score for the remainder of the game as LMU went on to defeat North Georgia 2-1 at the UNG Soccer Complex.
North Georgia’s head coach, Patrice Parris knew the controversial call was a game-changer.
“The game changed once we got the red card,” Parris said in a post interview with North Georgia Athletics. “I don’t think it was a red, I think it was a yellow. Playing down to a good team like Lincoln Memorial did not do us any favors and I thought it was cruel. Experiences like this are hard to swallow.”
In the ninth minute things looked promising for the Nighthawks when Alex Grant netted a goal off an assist from Ivan Acimovic to put North Georgia up 1-0.
The Nighthawks had an opportunity to extend their lead when a shot by Alex Grant was deflected right to the UNG offense, with a wide open goal to score in. However the attacker failed to see the ball at his feet and it was eventually cleared by a LMU defender.
Later in the first half Grant had a one on one situation with LMU’s keeper where he chipped the ball over the keeper’s head, but before the balled rolled in, a LMU defender made a play on the ball and cleared it.
Ronaldo de Jesus kicked the equalizer for the Railsplitters to make the score 1-1 in the 68th minute. Minutes later LMU tacked on another score in the 71st minute when Felipe Machado scored a goal assisted by Danilo da Silva to give them the 2-1 lead. The Nighthawks failed to add another goal in the match.
“As North Georgians we must persevere and get ready for the next one, as a team we need to stick together and find a way,” Parris said.