Saturday November 28
Southern Poly came into today’s Opening Round of the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship game with an overall record of 13-1-1. Their opponent’s, Bryan College, came in with a record of 11-7. Both teams made it into its first National tournament, most noticeably Southern Poly did it in just its third year.
The game started off well for the Hornets and after seven minutes, Freshman Emeka Maduka turned his man in the box and hit the inside of the post. Things got better for the Hornets and a run into the box by senior midfielder Felipe Lopez led to him being brought down inside the box. Scott Anderson stepped up to spot, and saw his low effort saved by the keeper. The rebound was hit first time by Sean Grisham, and was again saved by the keeper.
The Hornets would find the back of the net before half time. A cross found Maduka at the back post, and he headed the ball back across to Marcos Mendez. His header went over the Lions keeper and the rebound was put in the back of the net by Senior Scott Anderson. The excitement was not over yet, as the Hornet’s found themselves a man down on the 43rd minute. Felipe Lopez received his marching orders after he got his second yellow card for dissent.
The second half saw a Hornet’s defense led by Stephen Herget and Eric Ati who were instrumental for the Hornets. “We had to sit behind the ball and soak up all the pressure. We nearly scored on a couple of counter attacks, but we got the job done and it’s a massive stepping stone for our program”, said Head Coach Kom Momeni after the game. “Playing a man down really hurt the way that we wanted to play, but we persevered.”
The Hornets ended up as 1-0 winners and they will face either Martin Methodist or William Carey in the round of 16 in Fresno, California on Tuesday December 1st at 7pm.