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Hornets 0- Bethel 0 (2OT)

McKenzie, TN

August 21st, 2010

The #9 Southern Poly Hornets drew with the #12 Bethel University Wildcats 0-0 (2OT), as both teams kicked off their 2010 regular season.  There are some interesting similarities with both teams and starting off the 2010 campaign playing each other would be very fitting to both programs.  Both teams finished the 2009 regular season undefeated. Both teams ranked in the Top 5 in the 2009 Regular Season Final National Poll (Bethel #1, SPSU #4).  Both teams lost in the Round of 16 in the National Tournament.  Both teams lost to Martin Methodist College in 2009 in post season play.  Finally, Bethel University was the last team that beat SPSU in the regular season (Oct. 5, 2008).

With a heat index of 103 degrees, the Hornets started off sluggishly and were on their heels immediately.  "We looked very tired and barely hung on during the first half," said SPSU Head Coach Kom Momeni.  The home team had six shots in the first half and one on goal. However, they managed five corner kicks in the first 45 minutes.

The second half saw a more organized SPSU side who kept the ball better and countered numerous times, forcing Bethel GK, Chaz Dachenhaus to make three diving saves.  "Their GK played very well and made some huge saves on Diego (Nicholson-Jr. Midfielder, Tobago), and Marcos (Mendez-So. Midfielder, Argentina)," said Momeni.  "I was very happy with how we went forward starting in the second half.  We just needed to finish our opportunities."

SPSU Junior, Midfielder, Sean Grisham had a great look from 16 yards out that beat the GK, but missed the target wide.  While Mendez had yet another great look on goal, that was saved by Dachenhaus for a corner kick with two seconds left in regulation.  Another scoring opportunity arose for the Hornets when Dachenhaus misplayed a service from the left flank, only to have Wildcat Defender, Joseph Omondi clear the ball near the goal line.

Only two days after scoring six goals in an exhibition match versus Christian Brothers University (TN), the Wildcats seemed to quiet down in the second half, only to come alive in overtime.  A break-away by Mario Vila Boa produce the best look the Wildcats had all day.  It was a 1 v 1 opportunity by the forward who missed the frame, just a bit wide right.  "I thought Eric Ati (Sr. GK, Lawrenceville, GA) did a good job to close Mario's angle.  But we just got lucky that he missed," added Momeni.

With six minutes left in the second overtime, Bethel, Forward, Dawyne Smith turned his defender and blasted a shot from about 12 yards out that was collected by Ati.  It would be Ati's seventh save on the day.

In four season openers, SPSU has won three and tied one.  This was the first time that they were held scoreless and the first time that they held their season opening opponent scoreless.  In the three previous season openers, the Hornets have outscored their opponents 14-3. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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