November 6, 2010
Hornets Advance to SSAC Semis with 3-0 Win over Spring Hill
In the first round of the SSAC Tournament, Southern Poly hosted Spring Hill College from Mobile, Alabama. Spring Hill came in as the #4 seed in the West and Southern Poly was the #1 seed in the East. It was a dominating performance from Southern Poly right from the start and ended in a convincing 3-0 win for the Hornets, advancing them to another SSAC semi-final, this time against Belhaven University.
It was a scoreless first half dominated by Southern Poly as they outshot Spring Hill 3-1 and had a 5-0 advantage on corner kicks. Junior, Sean Grisham had the best chance of the first half when he played Senior, Christian Castillo wide. Castillo beat his defender and swung the ball to the back post where Grisham headed it towards the upper corner, only to have the Spring Hill goalkeeper make an incredible save. Castillo picked up another loose ball minutes later and struck a great shot only for the keeper to make another good save.
The second half started off the same as Southern Poly came out strong and attacked the back line and goal of Spring Hill relentlessly. The break came in the 73rd minute when Castillo picked up a ball about 20 yards from goal and found Junior, Kouami d’Almeida at the back post. d’Almeida, alone at the back post, hit a side volley back across the keeper, not giving him a chance to save it. The goal was d’Almeida’s ninth of the year and was Castillo’s team leading eleventh assist. Just three minutes later, Junior, Diego Nicholson found Sophomore Emeka Maduka in behind the back line and alone with the keeper. Maduka coolly placed it beyond the keepers reach for his eleventh goal of the season and Nicholson’s third assist.
Southern Poly wasn’t done yet as Maduka flicked a clearance from the backline to an oncoming Castillo, who took it on one bounce and struck a great volley beyond the Spring Hill keeper.
Southern Poly outshot Spring Hill 7-1 and had a 6-2 advantage on corners.
"I am really proud of the way that played today. We went against a very good Spring Hill Goalkeeper and scored three excellent goals. Our backs were solid as well. We finished our final home match of the 2010 season in great fashion," said SPSU Head Coach, Kom Momeni.
Southern Poly travels to Gulf Port, Mississippi to play Belhaven University, the #2 seed in the West, on Thursday. The winner advances to the SSAC Finals and earns an automatic bid into the NAIA National Tournament.