Gulf Coast faces familiar foe in semis

Published 1:03 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2022

PERKINSTON — There’s no team No. 17 Mississippi Gulf Coast would be more familiar with in the men’s soccer postseason than No. 12 Pearl River. It’s little surprise the two teams meet again Friday in the Gulf South District semifinals at Ellisville.


Gulf Coast coach Chris Handy joked after the Bulldogs (9-5-2) had beaten Itawamba 4-1 on Sunday, but before archrival Pearl River (11-3-1) had blanked East Central 3-0 that night, that Gulf Coast and Pearl River seem to play each other every year.

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It doesn’t just seem that way. The last five times the Bulldogs have made the postseason, their archrivals have been on their path. Gulf Coast has won one and only lost one of those meetings. The other two have been in championship games that went to penalties, with each team advancing in one.


The meeting this year starts at 1:30 p.m. The winner advances to Sunday’s finals where they will meet either No. 2 Jones, the hosts, or Hinds.


Tickets are cheaper when purchased in advance at They are $10 online and $13 at the gate. Tournament Central can be found at All games will be streamed at


Gulf Coast is defending its district championship, and the Bulldogs don’t want to run into the same problem they did last year. They fell behind by a goal in both the first and second half but rallied to tie it and force overtime, which eventually led to penalties. Gulf Coast won the shootout 8-7 to earn its first trip to the NJCAA Tournament.


“If it pushes our way early on, we won’t be running uphill and have to come back,” Handy said. “We just need to start fast and be aggressive going forward. We have to make sure we’re not chasing the game.”


Gulf Coast won the regular-season meeting between the teams 3-1 at Bary Thrash Field on Oct. 18.


NJCAA Gulf South District Men’s Soccer Tournament


Seeds are based on MACCC regular-season finish


Friday, Nov. 4

1:30 p.m.: No. 4 Gulf Coast vs. No. 3 Pearl River

7:30 p.m.: No. 7 Hinds vs. No. 1 Jones


Sunday, Nov. 6

6:30 p.m.: Winners of Friday’s semifinals




Gulf South District Tournament

Semifinal: Gulf Coast vs. Pearl River (Ellisville)


MACCC/Gulf South District Tournament

Final: Gulf Coast 2, Pearl River 2, Gulf Coast advances on PKs 8-7 (Ridgeland)

2020-21 (Played in spring 2021 because of COVID)

MACCC/Region 23 Tournament

Semifinal: Pearl River 3, Gulf Coast 2


MACJC/Region 23 Tournament

Semifinal: Gulf Coast 1, Pearl River 0 (Raymond)


MACJC/Region 23 Tournament

Final: Pearl River 0, Gulf Coast 0, Pearl River advances on PKs 4-1 (Ridgeland)


For more information on MGCCC’s 11 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to