Sophomore Omar Kante scoring the game winner late in the first half
MARIETTA, Ga. – In a Southern States Athletic Conference match, the Southern Polytechnic State University men’s soccer team claimed a 2-1 win over the visiting Southern Wesleyan University Warriors on Wednesday afternoon at Nuesoft Technologies Field. Southern Polytechnic is rated No. 9 nationally and Southern Wesleyan 17th in this week’s NAIA coaches’ poll.
“I think the key to our win was a quick start, and then we just needed to buckle down and defend a lot of the game,” Southern Poly head coach Kom Momeni said. “My hat goes off to Southern Wesleyan. I think they’re a very good team and we were very fortunate to win today. We weren’t very good today but we’ll take an ugly win.”
Just 2:23 into the game, the Hornets took advantage of a foul on the Warriors’ goalkeeper and picked up a penalty-kick goal by senior midfielder Andre Santos, giving SPSU an early 1-0 lead. Sophomore forward Omar Kanteh posted the game-winning goal on an assist from junior midfielder Juan Henao in the 36th minute (35:10) as Southern Poly went ahead 2-0. The Hornets stayed on top by the two-score margin until the 88th minute (87:36), when SWU avoided the shutout with a goal on a penalty kick.
SPSU was outshot 11-5 and each team took three shots on goal. Southern Wesleyan, which collected four yellow cards to Southern Poly’s two, ended with a 2-1 edge in corner kicks.
Senior Dennis Kramer played the full 90 minutes in goal for the Hornets. He came up with two saves.
“I thought Dennis Kramer had a really nice game,” Momeni said. “In the second half he didn’t have to do much, but in the first half he was very active and he managed all of the situations he had to. We needed a big game from our goalkeeper.”
Southern Poly improves to 7-2-0 overall and 3-1-0 in the SSAC while the Warriors slip to 8-2-0 overall, including 3-2-0 in conference play. The Hornets have a SSAC road contest against the Truett-McConnell College Bears this Saturday. The match is slated for 4:30 p.m. in Cleveland, Ga.