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No. 10 Pearl River breaks through for winner against Meridian

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — One goal is all it took Tuesday night for the No. 10 Pearl River men’s soccer program to walk away from the pitch victorious.

Facing a well-organized Meridian Eagles squad, PRCC broke through in the 62nd minute and closed out the match for a big 1-0 victory to improve to 6-0 on the season.

“That’s definitely the most organized team we have seen all season so hats off to them,” Pearl River coach Drew Gallant. “I think Sam (Wilson) has done a really good job organizing and their guys are really bought in. They gave us so many issues. I was happy with our patience and keeping the ball.

“That was probably the best we’ve done at maintaining possession.”

The Wildcats put four shots on goal in the first half but it wasn’t until the 55th minute when PRCC had its best opportunity to break through. Facing a sunk-in MCC squad, Mohamed Diallo (Gulfport) took a pass from Sam Lambert (Carriere; Pearl River Central) in the box but unfortunately skied it over the bar.

Seven minutes later Lambert cashed in for the game’s lone goal.

Lambert picked the pocket of a MCC defender, broke in on the right side of the goal, split several defenders and as the keeper came out, tucked the ball just inside the near post for his first collegiate goal.

“It was only our second unassisted goal all season. Sam steals the ball, dribbles through three people and finishes it,” Gallant said. “We’ve been waiting on a goal from Sam all season so it was nice he finally got on the scoresheet. He’s a very good player and a very smart player.

“I’m glad he just decided to drive right through there and finish one off for us.”

With four minutes remaining Lambert almost doubled PRCC’s lead, sending a Durron Myers (Gulfport) cross on goal. The Eagles’ keeper, however, parried the ball over the cross bar for what Gallant called an “unworldly” save.

PRCC keeper John Bowman (Bay St. Louis; Bay) wasn’t tested much, recording one save.

NEXT UP

The Wildcats are back on the pitch Friday for a 5 p.m. kickoff at Copiah-Lincoln.