October 4, 2011
After getting only one win from their last three SSAC games, the Southern Poly Hornets found their stride and put out a very convincing 2-0 performance, giving Auburn University at Montgomery their first conference loss of the year. Goals came from Senior Jumol Harewood in the first half and Junior Emeka Maduka in the second half, while Junior Dennis Kramer would earn his first shutout in his first start in goal for the season.
Southern Poly would enter the match nationally ranked #17 with a 7-2 overall record, 3-2 in the SSAC. Their losses would come from conference rivals who were ranked #2 and #6 at the time. AUM would enter with a national ranking of #18 with a 6-3-1 overall record, 4-0 in the SSAC. AUM would jump out to a quick start as they feverishly pushed for the opening goal. With 34 minutes gone and the score still tied, AUM would earn a very questionable penalty kick. SPSU Junior defender Marcos Mendez was called for fighting for position with an AUM forward. The penalty actually occurred outside the box and the AUM player still got the shot off, which was saved by Kramer. Mendez was shown a yellow card and the penalty shot would hit the right post, and be eventually cleared by the Hornets. Eight minutes later Harewood would strip an AUM defender 20 yards from goal, chop two different defenders in the penalty area and hit a left footed blast off the near post for the opening goal. The half would end with Southern Poly with the 1-0 lead.
The second half would feature a dominating performance by Southern Poly, specifically their defense, as the Hornets would only surrender one shot on goal in the second half, a 35 yard attempt that was easily handled by Kramer. Fifteen minutes into the second half, Senior Rani Alkopton would receive a ball from Junior Andre Santos, turn and play it beyond the defense for Maduka to run on to. With 40 yards of space and Maduka 1v1 with the AUM goalie, Maduka would neatly tuck it away from 15 yards to double the Hornets’ lead. They wouldn’t look back from there. Maduka would have another golden opportunity with ten minutes remaining as Sophomore Juan Henao would combine with Maduka 12 yards from goal and get Maduka a clean shot from eight yards. This time the keeper got the best of him and made a big save. Southern Poly would threaten a few more times before the game was out, but didn’t need any more as the two goal lead would be enough.
A golden opportunity for the home side to gain a goal came on an open header from eight yards out. After Kramer came out for a service and punched the ball away, the second ball found its way on the head of a Warhawk player who sent it over the bar. “We were very happy to beat a good AUM side. We needed to get back on track. We thought that our last three performances were not up to par. With the addition of Andre Santos (center mid) and Dennis Kramer (GK) our team got a boost from two players that haven’t seen a minute all year. It was a total team effort today,” said Hornet Head Coach Kom Momeni.
The win moves Southern Poly to 8-2 on the season while AUM drops to 6-4-1. Southern Poly hosts SSAC opponent Truett-McConnell on Tuesday October 11th at 3pm. The game will be at Nuesoft Technologies field on the campus of Southern Poly.