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East Tennessee State soccer coach Scott Calabrese wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance Saturday night, but he wasn’t about to give back the victory.
David Geno scored on a deflected shot with three minutes remaining as the Bucs beat Davidson 3-2 in a non-conference game at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
“This game, this was not a great performance from our team,” Calabrese said. “It was a good result. Sometimes you have to win games where you’re maybe not playing your best. That’s what happened tonight. We’re happy for that.”
The Bucs improved to 5-1. Davidson fell to 3-2-1.
Both teams have made a living out of shutting opponents out this season, so it was a little surprising when each scored early. The two teams each came into the game with four shutouts in five games.
The shutout streak didn’t last long on this night.
Davidson scored first eight minutes into the game. ETSU goalkeeper Ryan Coulter came out of the net in an attempt to get the ball. Instead, Gabe Rivera broke from a crowd, poked the ball past Coulter and deposited it into an empty net.
The Bucs didn’t stay down long. Less than five minutes later, Aaron Schoenfeld made it 1-1 when he reached high with his left foot and volleyed in a goal from 12 yards out. Frank Doumbe assisted Schoenfeld’s third goal of the year.
Itode Fubara put the Bucs on top five minutes into the second half with an emphatic goal. The score was set up when Alesi Osorio chipped the ball over the Davidson back line and Geno crossed it in front of the net. Fubara then drilled it into the roof of the goal from close range.
Six minutes later, Davidson tied it up again. Brian McGue took a pass from Nick Grube and hit a left-footed shot from 18 yards out. The ball took a slight deflection off of an ETSU defender’s ankle and curled past the outstretched hand of a diving Coulter just inside the post.
“Against the run of play we conceded a poor goal,” Calabrese said. “I think we have to do a little better job when it comes to closing people down around our goal. I was disappointed a little bit in some of the performances defensively.”
As the game appeared headed to overtime, Fubara and Geno teamed up again. This time, it was Fubara passing to Geno, whose shot might have been going wide until it hit off a defender. Davidson goalie Chip Sanders didn’t have a chance to react as the ball landed softly against the back of the net for the winning score.
“It was on frame, but it was going to the right,” said Geno, a sophomore form Kingsport. “I got a lucky deflection and it went in. We need to play better. We don’t want to win this way, but it’s nice to know even though we played bad, we could pull out a W.”
The Bucs outshot Davidson 16-11.
ETSU return to action Tuesday night when Virginia Tech comes to Summers-Taylor Stadium. The Hokies recently beat No. 1 North Carolina.
“I’m real happy we’re five and one, but we’re gonna need to be at a different level in terms of how we perform,” Calabrese said of the impending matchup with Tech.