First-half mistakes cost Trojans
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 3, 2010 1:47 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Two mistakes during key portions of the opening half proved costly for Mount Olive College on Thursday evening.
Florida Southern benefited from the miscues and claimed a 2-0, season-opening victory in breezy, pleasant conditions at Amon Field. Freshman Viktor Bakkioui recorded his first-ever collegiate goal and assist for the Moccasins, who were making their first appearance in the Carolinas since 1997.
The loss snapped the Trojans' six-game win streak in season-opening contests.
The Moccasins, of the Division II Sunshine State Conference, controlled possession and tempo from the opening kickoff. They constantly pressured the Trojan defense, forced a turnover and Bakkioui slipped through to score the game's initial goal at the 2-minute, 6-second mark.
"They got after it at the beginning and we made an early mistake," said ninth-year MOC head coach Jerry Riggs. "On the kickoff, we play a negative ball instead of playing a positive ball. Their work rate, obviously, pinned us in and that's what started their first goal."
MOC (0-1-0 overall) settled its nerves and began connecting passes during the middle portion of the half. Florida Southern disrupted the offense on occasion and built attacks of it own, but the Trojans' defensive adjustments prevented further damage.
Until the 43rd minute.
Florida Southern's Ricky Marton drew a red card, which gave MOC a man advantage. But another defensive misclear just outside the 18-yard box resulted in a back-breaking goal by the Mocs.
Bakkioui ran onto the ball near the Trojans' bench and crossed it into the box toward Zach Hofstetter. The junior red-shirt midfielder converted a beautifully-placed header that caught MOC goalie Shane Parman flat-footed at the near post.
Just 16.3 seconds remained before intermission.
"Oh, a dagger," said Riggs of Hofstetter's goal. "A silly situation where we're trying to juggle the ball and be cute, instead of kicking it as long and as far as we can so we can go to halftime and reorganize."
MOC played a better tempo in the second half and attempted just two shots. The Mocs owned a 12-5 shots advantage, while the Trojans led 6-5 in corner kicks.