No. 6 Pearl River continues hot start in runaway win at Southwest
Published 3:58 pm Wednesday, September 15, 2021
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The No. 6 Pearl River men’s soccer team has had a great start to the beginning of its season and that continued Tuesday as the Wildcats blew past Southwest, 4-0.
Even though the Wildcats had a big win, head coach Drew Gallant hopes to get better.
“I thought we were really strong at the back,” he said. “I also thought that we struggled a lot of the time. Southwest was organized and gave us a lot of problems.”
Pearl River (3-0-1 overall; 2-0 MACCC South Division) jumped on Southwest (3-3; 0-2) early, bagging the first goal in the 12th minute.
The Wildcats earned a penalty kick and Mohamed Diallo (Gulfport) promptly placed it in the back of the net to make the score 1-0.
Moments before the halftime buzzer sounded, Ryley Smith (Manchester, England.; Castlebrook) scored for the first time this season. Harper Baggett (Ocean Springs) played a ball into the box and Smith put it past the keeper, doubling the lead 2-0.
Diallo picked up the brace in the 53rd minute thanks to an unlikely goal. While taking a corner kick, Diallo’s ball curved into the net, giving the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.
The final goal of the night came in the 59th minute. After the Wildcats earned another penalty kick, Diallo stepped up to the spot to try to get the hat trick. Diallo’s kick was saved, but Baggett was nearby to rocket the ball past the keeper.
After the match, William Carey transfer Gavin Taylor (Gulfport) was named man of the match.
“Gavin had a great game at the back of the formation,” Gallant said. “He kept everything organized and stayed positive. He was sending coaching points to the guys. He was definitely the man of the match tonight.”
The Wildcats return to PRCC Soccer Complex on Friday to host Meridian. The contest will begin at 7 p.m. and will be livestreamed at PRCCMedia.com/gold. The match will be dedicated to the life of Cayce Seal. The Wildcats will hold a ceremony to retire Seal’s number and all proceeds from the game will go to the scholarship fund that was set up in his memory.
Single match tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at PRCCAthletics.com/tickets. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of time to avoid lines.