February 21, 2009
The Hornets opened their 2009 Spring season with a double header against Montevallo University and West Florida University in Montevallo, AL. Both teams have strong programs in the NCAA D.II. The Hornets retained most of their squad from the Fall season, but noticeably were without All- American Mamadou Danso who was picked up by D.C. United in the MLS. They would also be without All-Conference Midfielder, James Grant, who led the SSAC in assists in 2008.
Their first game would be against the other traveling team, and last years Gulf South Conference Winner’s West Florida. Southern Poly showed resilience in defense and would look to counter against their opponents. This would prove to be pivotal in the end as a counter led to a corner, where Sophomore Stephen Herget would grab the winning goal with a header. Southern Poly came close to doubling the lead at the end, but Felipe Lopez could not score on a break away, on an empty net. After 70 minutes of play, the Hornets won their first Spring match, 1-0, against West Florida, who would end the day with a 0-0 tie against fellow Conference rivals Montevallo.
SPSU would play their second game, back to back, against hosts Montevallo. Southern Poly got off to a great start when Junior, Midfielder Felipe Lopez slipped in Freshman Kouami D’Almeida who blasted the ball past a helpless Montevallo keeper. It was 2-0 just seven minutes later when Lopez fed Freshman, Diego Nicholson who ran from the half way line and got pulled down in the box. Skipper, Scott Anderson sent the keeper the wrong way on the ensuing PK, and Southern Poly looked comfortable.
In the second half, Montevallo had a couple great chances, but keeper Ryan Black made two magnificent back to back saves. “All in all it was a great weekend for our program. We proved we can play with some of the top teams. We were the only team to score in both games, and the only team to have two clean sheets”, said Coach Kom Momeni.
There were some great individual performances on the day, most notably in the midfield by the both Sean Grisham and Scott Anderson, who both played every minute of both games. Both keepers had a quiet day, and the support from the bench was vital in a great day for southern poly soccer.
The Hornets will be away again in Alabama this weekend as they take on another Gulf South Conference team, University of Alabama Huntsville, and look to extend their good run of performances in the Spring.