HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker University men's soccer team picked up their second consecutive win on Saturday (Sept. 14) with a 4-1 victory over the University of Mount Olive Trojans in the first home match of the 2019 campaign.
After two away matches to begin the season, the Cobras were happy to play their first game under the lights at the Coker Athletic Field. That showed in the early minutes as the Cobras came out firing offensively creating several scoring opportunities.
In the sixth minute, Riccardo Ricci broke past the Mount Olive defense and found the back of the net giving Coker an early 1-0 advantage. However, the Trojans quickly answered with a goal of their own as James Lang stashed home the rebound off a saved penalty kick from Alfie Pope.
A huge momentum swing in the match took place in the 28th minute. Lang had a one on one scoring opportunity but goalkeeper Guilermo Falo Ejea made a great save to keep the score tied. On the next possession, the Cobras were awarded a penalty kick after a yellow card was issued to Mount Olive's goalkeeper Iwan Roberts. Lucas Miquel Castrillo fired a rocket past Roberts into the right corner of the net, as Coker held the 2-1 lead heading into halftime.
"It was an all-around great performance tonight," said head coach Michael Antoniewicz. "Our midfield controlled the game, doing a great job of defending and setting up scoring chances."
The Cobras carried over their dominance into the second half. Riccardo Ricci continued to give the Trojan defense issues, as he scored his second goal of the match giving Coker a 3-1 advantage. In the 74th minute, Christian Provenzano added the final exclamation point as he punched in the breakaway goal propelling the Cobras to a 4-1 victory.
Ejea stopped 12 shots in net for the Cobras, picking up his second win of the season.
"Guilermo's performance was unbelievable," said Coach Antoniewicz. "We are confident in him to make big time saves and he delivered tonight."
The Cobras will be back in action on Wednesday (Sept. 18) when they play host to the Wingate University Bulldogs in a Southern Athletic Conference match. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.