Freshman goalkeeper Gian Dev of the LaGrange College men's soccer team made a career-high 11 saves during a 2-0 setback against visiting Greensboro on Saturday evening at Callaway Stadium.
It was Senior Day for the Panthers. LaGrange has four outstanding seniors in Errick Sturm, Levi Gehman, Kaine Baker and Matthew Fritts. All four saw action on Saturday in front of the home crowd, as the unit has been crucial in the evolution of the program. LaGrange has qualified for the USA South Tournament in each of the past two seasons.
"Over the past four years, these four players have played a massive role in creating history for the program," said Panthers head coach Ryan Dickson. "On and off the field, it has been a real pleasure for me to see these young men grow. They will be sorely missed, but they have left the program in a better place going forward."
The Panthers (5-10-1, 4-7-1 USA South) are still in the playoff race in the USA South West Division, while Greensboro improved to 10-5-2 overall and 8-2-1 in the USA South.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Greensboro was awarded a penalty kick in the sixth minute, as Jordy Briceno picked the bottom-left corner from 12 yards out.
- Freshman midfielder Blake Webb had a strong opportunity for the Panthers 6:01 into the game, but his shot from beyond the box went barely over the crossbar.
- Seven minutes into the first half, Panthers freshman defender Alex Drazic made a top-notch defensive play, stripping the ball from Darli Mihindou on the right side of the box.
- Dev stopped a rocket from the edge of the box by Mihindou in the 26th minute, and then turned aside a second-chance opportunity from point-blank range by Briceno.
- Briceno nearly gave the visitors a 2-0 lead in the 30th minute, but his shot hit the post.
- Panthers freshman midfielder Enrique Hernandez sent a through ball to Sturm in the 43rd minute, and then the midfielder eluded Greensboro goalkeeper Elmer Martinez. Sturm fired a shot on what appeared to be an empty net, but a Greensboro defender came up with a team save on the goal line.
- During the 61st minute, Gerardo Peraza sent a ball right across the box to Briceno on the right doorstep, but Dev made a diving stop for LaGrange, keeping the squad within one.
- Mihindou ended the scoring in the 62nd minute, netting a shot off a corner kick.
- Errick Sturm currently holds the Panthers' program record in goals (32), as he became the program's leading goal-scorer with two goals against Averett on Sept. 21. He also ranks second in program history with 69 points.
- Kaine Baker has been an outstanding captain for the Panthers during his senior season. The defender makes all the hustle and extra-effort plays that go beyond a box score.
- Levi Gehman has played in 56 games and has made 16 starts with a pair of goals and assists. "I just want to thank the other three seniors for making this experience the best it possibly could be the past four years," said Gehman.
- Matthew Fritts has been the ultimate leader for the Panthers, serving as a team captain since his sophomore season. He has played in 69 games and recorded three goals.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Pride held a 23-6 lead in shots and a 13-4 advantage in shots on goal, while Greensboro led the corner-kicks category, 7-5.
- Sturm and junior defender Asher Hendon each finished with two shots, as Sturm put both of his on net.
- The Panthers will close out the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 26, with a 1 p.m. game against USA South-foe Pfeiffer in Misenheimer, North Carolina.