Senior Dennis Kramer earns his eighth shutout of the season, fifth in SSAC Conference play.
JACKSON, Miss. – In a Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament first-round match on Saturday evening, the No. 5-seed Southern Polytechnic State University men’s soccer team rolled past the fourth-seeded Belhaven University Blazers 3-0 at H.T. Newell Field. The victory for Southern Polytechnic, ranked No. 17 nationally in the latest NAIA coaches’ poll, avenges an earlier 1-0 loss this season to 15th-rated Belhaven on the same field.
“I thought our players did a great job of getting ready to play today. The energy and focus was high from the opening whistle," Southern Poly head coach Kom Momeni said. "The last 20 minutes were very frantic. Our main objective was to keep a shutout and every player was committed to doing so. I'm very proud of their effort. We beat a very good Belhaven team tonight.”
The Hornets opened the scoring in the 36th minute (35:48) when sophomore forward Avery Shepard headed in a goal off an assist from junior midfielder Juan Henao on a corner kick. After leading 1-0 at halftime, senior forward Emeka Maduka knocked in a goal on an assist by sophomore forward Omar Kanteh in the 59th minute (58:31) to put SPSU up 2-0. Southern Poly freshman midfielder Adis Islamovic added an unassisted goal in the 62nd minute (61:02) to secure the win.
The Blazers took 17 shots, including five on goal while the Hornets finished with 11 and six, respectively.
Senior goalkeeper Dennis Kramer played all 90 minutes for SPSU and recorded the shutout. He made five saves.
Southern Poly moves to 12-4-1 overall while Belhaven drops to 14-4-1. The Hornets advance to play the top-seeded University of Mobile Rams in a SSAC Tournament semifinal game on Thursday in Montgomery, Ala.
Sophomore Avery Shepard getting the eventual game winner on a cross from Junior Juan Henao.