ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Eric Dinka scored early in the second half and that goal stood up as Georgia Southern edged homestanding UNC Asheville in the final game of the Asheville Invitational Sunday afternoon at Greenwood Field.
In Sunday’s first game, Radford tallied twice in the second half to down Howard, 2-0. The Highlanders (3-2-1) were the lone team in the Invitational to go beaten and were declared champions with their 2-0 record.
GSU (3-4-0) controlled play for much of the game but had to withstand some furious Bulldog (3-4-0) challenges in the final minutes.
The Eagles had a 10-7 edge in shots in the first half as Asheville goalkeeper Zak Davis made four saves to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.
But early in the second half, Dinka collected a loose ball in the middle of the field, dribbled about 10 yards and then hit a blast from 15 yards out that went into the top left-hand corner of the net for the only goal of the game.
GSU continued to threaten and had 10 shots to just one for Asheville midway through the second half. Davis made four more saves in the second half to keep the home team close.
But the Bulldogs rallied in the final 10 minutes and controlled play. Asheville had two great chances late. Hans Lohmeyer was just high on a shot from 20 yards out with three minutes left. Kenneth Lingerfelt’s header with 45 seconds left off a corner kick was stopped by GSU goalkeeper Neal Bates.
Radford (3-2-1) had a 9-1 advantage in shots in the first half but could not score. The Highlanders finally broke through midway through the second half.
Joe Mayer scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season off a header at 55:29. Luis Grande and Jaimie Summers were awarded assists on the play.
RU pushed the lead to 2-0 when Summers scored his second goal of the season on a header from 10 yards out. Nico Valencia and Dario Redodno were awarded assists on the play at 68:31.
Eric Hamilton for the Bison (0-7-0) did a great job in goal for Howard as he made eight saves. Dane Wilson earned the win for Radford with three saves.
UNC Asheville plays again on Saturday (Sept. 29) when the Bulldogs host Big South foe Liberty at 3:30 p.m.
Jo Vetle Rimstad
Frederick Todd III