10/07/04 — Second-half surge pushes MOC men

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Second-half surge pushes MOC men

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 7, 2004 1:56 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The flood gates opened.

After struggling to finish offensively in the first half, Mount Olive College's men's soccer team posted four goals in a nine-minute span in the second half to claim a 5-1 win at Trojan Field on Wednesday against Coker (S.C.)

Warren Atkins, Reid Clewis and Cory Worrell tallied one goal each in a three-minute stretch beginning ten minutes into the second. Matt Hobbs came off of the bench to cap the scoring barrage with a goal fit for a highlight reel.

Hobbs, positioned in the left side of the box with his back facing the goal, knocked a pass from Clewis with his back heel into the right corner to make the score 5-1 with 25 minutes left.

"We played good in the first half, we just didn't finish," Mount Olive coach Jerry Riggs said. "We put together a good series, and that's what it should have been. You aren't always going to put up five goals in every game, but knew at halftime we had to go to work."

The win improved the Trojans (10-2-0 overall), currently fifth in the latest NSCAA/Adidas Men's Soccer NCAA Division II Southeast Regional rankings, to 6-0-0 in the Carolinas/Virginia Athletic Conference. The Trojans remain the lone unbeaten and untied team in conference play and matched a school record for most CVAC wins in a season. Mount Olive recorded six wins in CVAC play in 1996 and 1998.

"It's a great feeling. Especially after two years ago," Riggs said. "We want to enjoy this, but tomorrow's a new day because we have to prepare for Limestone."

Mount Olive controlled most of the possession in the physically-played game, as both teams combined to commit 37 fouls.

In the first half, the Trojans outshot the Cobras 12-4 and outshot the visitors 22-7 on the game.

Mount Olive's Chris Jasso got his team on the board near the 18-minute mark -- settling a high cross near the left post from Charles Williams and scoring with a one-touch shot past Coker goalie Aaron Osteen. The Trojans had a handful of near misses against Coker's aggressive defense as their own defense and midfield consistently kept the Cobras from threatening.

In the waning seconds of the first half, Mount Olive was whistled for a foul inside the penalty box. The Cobras' Gibson Baafour took advantage of the chance to equalize -- booting in the penalty kick left-footed with no time left on the clock.

Mount Olive's defense and goalie Chris Roush went on to blank Coker (0-5-1, 0-2-1) in the second half. The one-goal allowed marks the seventh time the Trojans have allowed one goal or less this season.

"Our guys in the back have been solid all year. We've got some boys back there who take pride in defending," Riggs said. "Even though we weren't finishing, we were able to lock them in defensively and keep the ball down their throat."

Jasso, Atkins, Clewis and Worrell tacked on one assist each during the second-half blitz to go with their goals. Worrell, who is in the top five in the nation in goals and assists, now has 16 goals, four assists and 36 points. Clewis recorded his 10th goal and seventh assist, while Jasso now has four goals and two assists.

Atkins, ranked second in the nation in assists per game, posted his 13th assist to go with four goals.

The top four teams in the CVAC receive a first-round home game during the conference tournament following the season. Mount Olive can move closer to that goal with a win on Saturday at home against Limestone (1-9-0, 0-4-0).

Coker 1 0 -- 1

Mount Olive 1 4 -- 5

First half

MOC -- Jasso (Williams assist) 18:18

Coker -- Baafour penalty kick 45:00

Second half

MOC -- Atkins (Jasso assist) 55:07

MOC -- Clewis (Worrell assist) 57:59

MOC -- Worrell (Atkins assist) 59:05

MOC -- Hobbs (Clewis assist) 64:46

Coker MOC

7 Shots 22

5 Corner kicks 12

2 Offsides 3

17 Fouls 20

Saves -- Coker -- Osteen 8. MOC -- Roush 3.