PRCC 'bounces back' to winning ways

Itawamba Community College traveled to Pearl River Community College on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. PRCC men won 4-0, while ICC women claimed a 4-1 victory. (BRETT RUSS/PRCC ATHLETICS)
Itawamba Community College traveled to Pearl River Community College on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. PRCC men won 4-0, while ICC women claimed a 4-1 victory. (BRETT RUSS/PRCC ATHLETICS)

POPLARVILLE — Pearl River used Tuesday night's home soccer contest against Holmes to cleanse its palate from last week's disappointment.

The Wildcats scored early and then piled on late in the 5-0 victory at the PRCC soccer complex.

"It was a good way to bounce back," PRCC coach Drew Gallant said. "I thought our possessions were cleaner. They sat back on us like Southwest did but we looked much better against it."

A week ago, Gallant was frustrated by what he thought were simple passes. Tuesday, the Wildcats deployed more purposeful passing, much to the delight of their coach.

"It was there," he said. "It was more about getting forward and creating opportunities, not just passing it around the back. We definitely looked better tonight."

Mike Jimenez (Ocean Springs) opened the night's scoring in the 19thminute, burying a ball that rattled around in the Holmes box.

A minute into the second half Cooper Grafe (Kiln; Hancock) helped put the Wildcats (8-1) ahead 2-0 when his pass into the box from the end line was kicked into the net by a Bulldog defender.

Jevaun Ennis (Kingston, Jamaica) was busy all match for PRCC. He scored on beautiful free kicks in the 75thminute and again 13 minutes later.

The best goal of the match, however, may be Grafe's. Three minutes after Ennis' first goal the attacking midfielder blasted a shot that beat the Holmes keeper just inside the left post.

"Dom (White) made a good run to clear out the centerbacks, I walked right up to the 18 and just hit it," Grafe said.

Kealan Baggett (Ocean Springs) led PRCC with two assists, while Andrew Elkins (Bay St. Louis; St. Stanislaus) added one of his own.

Kobe Lie (Hattiesburg; North Forrest) earned his eighth win of the season after turning away three shots from the Bulldogs (2-7).

The Wildcats have a busy week ahead, hosting Hinds at 7 p.m. Friday and then turning around to host archrival Gulf Coast next Tuesday.

"Hinds is always really good and plays really hard," Gallant said. "We beat them in overtime (in last year's playoffs), so we're expecting a lot from them."

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