The University of North Georgia’s men’s soccer team was up 4-0 against Georgia Southwestern University (GSW) Canes in the second half on Wednesday at the UNG Soccer complex in Dahlonega. The Canes rallied and scored three goals in the second half, but the Nighthawks added another goal and kept the Canes out of their net for the rest of the game to preserve a 5-3 senior night win.
The senior night success started when senior Daniel Bennett scored his first goal of the season in the 12th minute to put UNG up 1-0. Bennett was pleased that he contributed a goal on his senior night.
“It feels really good,” Bennett said. “As a defender, I don’t get to score as much.”
Carl Ludwig Eriksson added a goal in the 20th minute for the Nighthawks from an assist by Gabriel Garcia.
North Georgia finished the first half up 2-0 over the Canes. Adam Farrell scored off a penalty kick in the 46th minute to put UNG up 3-0. Minutes later, Farrell gave UNG their fourth goal of the night in the 52nd minute.
Silvio Polly gave GSW their first goal of the night in the 53rd minute to cut the UNG lead to score 4-1. Garcia responded back with a goal in the 54th minute for UNG to put them up 5-1.
A minute later the Canes responded back when Jonathan Sayers scored a goal making the score 5-2.
Polly added another goal for the Canes off an assist from Sayers in the 82nd minute to make it a 5-3 game. While it looked like a possible comeback was brewing, Bennett was calm and confident his team would prevail.
“I felt like we were in control of the game. I felt like just silly individual errors that maybe cost us some goals, but I never felt like they were really going to get back in the game,” Bennett said.
North Georgia head coach Patrice Parris was proud of his seniors.
“I’m very proud of those guys,” Parris said. “Those guys took a leap of faith when our program was not winning a lot of games, and they came here and helped change the culture. With those guys getting to play the majority of those minutes tonight, I was very proud of them for sure.”