Zach Smith & Ryan Parry, Staff Writers
September began the kickoff for the men’s soccer 2015 regular season campaign, with two home matches against the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers and the West Florida Argonauts.
On Sept. 4, the Mocs opened their season with Alabama-Huntsville. Just five minutes into the match, Alabama-Huntsville took the lead when a free kick by Leo De Smedt was re-directed into the net.
Late on in the first half, freshman midfielder, Pablo Gallo Arias, won possession in midfield, fed sophomore Jimmy Oatman, and the Bolivian striker drove into the box and placed his shot into the back of the net. The Mocs would then score the go-ahead goal through redshirt freshman, Jordyn Henderson, with a one- touch shot off an Alexi Cortez assist- the first of Henderson’s Florida Southern career.
“We had a great team movement with the ball that ended with me tapping the ball past the keeper for my first goal as a Moccasin, one of the most exhilarating moments of my life,” Henderson said.
Henderson is hopeful he can build upon his performance and goal. “I hope in the future I can score more goals and get assists to help the team win some more games” Henderson said.
Sunday’s match against West Florida was cancelled due to poor field conditions as rain drenched the pitch all of Sunday morning. The Mocs looked to take the win on Sept. 4 as a confidence booster for the team as they move into conference play.
The previous weekend, the Mocs dropped both matches against the Lees-McRae Bobcats and the Young Harris Mountain Lions 2-0 and 2-1, respectively. The Mocs’ first preseason clash came first with the Bobcats, last year’s runner-up from Conference Carolinas.
On the hour mark, Lees McRae’s Maurice Kleinert broke the deadlock with a header from Matthew Cureton’s highflying free kick. The Bobcats doubled their lead in the first 75 minutes in by way of Palle Jespersen, scoring off an assist from Nathan Watt and won by a final score of 2-0.
The second preseason match saw the team take on national powerhouse Young Harris, last year’s national quarterfinalist. The Mountain Lions entered this season as the fifth ranked team in the nation, but it was Florida Southern who opened the scoring with junior midfielder, Jonathan Radvogin slotting the ball into the net from just over 15 yards to put the Mocs up 1-0. However, after a brace from Young Harris’s Tom Joslin, the Mountain Lions took the win, 2-1.
This season, the team is welcoming back one of its former players to assist Coach Sniegoski. Ashley Holmes, ’12, was the captain of the squad from 2009-2012 and will now be taking on a different kind of leadership.
“On the playing side of it, it is more game-to-game and on the coaching side of it, it is more day-to-day, but it is just nice to be back and involved in Florida Southern,” Holmes said.
Holmes is also anxious to get back involved with the college he once represented.
“I am thrilled and grateful to be returning to the Mocs as an assistant coach. I’d like to thank Director of Athletics Pete Meyer and President Anne Kerr for giving me this fantastic opportunity,” Holmes said.
Holmes, Sniegoski, and the rest of the squad will be looking forward to continuing the promising start to the season.