DAHLONEGA — The North Georgia College & State University men’s soccer team continued their best start in program history on Wednesday evening, playing host to Queens University of Charlotte and defeating the Royals 2-0 in non-conference action at the Soccer Complex in Dahlonega.
The Saints remain undefeated on the year, improving to 4-0-3 on the season, while the Royals drop their second straight, falling to two games under the .500 mark at 2-4 on the season. NGCSU moves to 2-0 on the year against teams in the Conference Carolinas.
North Georgia put the pressure on Queens in the early going as Ben Stegman drove in the middle and found Gray Phelps streaking down the field. The junior transfer dribbled just inside the box and slid a pass past Royals’ goalkeeper Giancarlo Aristondo, just inside the left post to give the Saints a 1-0 advantage at the 13-minute mark.
The Saints held a 1-0 edge heading into intermission, but would add to the lead just four minutes after halftime as Caleb Turner, a Gainesville High graduate, lined up for a corner and sent a ball in the box, finding Jesy Phelps who headed it home for a 2-0 North Georgia lead. Turner’s assist was his second in as many games off a corner, while Jesy Phelps tallied his first goal of the season in the 50th minute.
North Georgia was unable to put together another score down the stretch, and Rade Tanaskovic was stellar once again in goal, picking two saves, including a diving save in the 31st minute off a free kick from Justin Ferguson to preserve the Saints’ one-goal lead at the time.
Queens’ best scoring opportunity came in the 76th minute as Gersi Cilingiri lined up for a shot outside the box and sent a laser shot on goal, connecting with the cross bar and ricocheting back into play, only to be cleared by a North Georgia player and preserve the 2-0 lead.
The Saints recorded 10 shots to four for the Royals, and held a 6-4 edge in corner kicks. Fouls were whistled early and often as North Georgia had 16 fouls to nine for Queens.