POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River took the attack to visiting Gulf Coast on Friday, topping the Bulldogs 6-0 at the PRCC Sports Complex. With the win, Pearl River (8-0-1 overall; 6-0 MACJC South) swept MGCCC (8-5; 2-4) on the season series.
"The first time we faced them we changed formations a couple of days before and I don't think we looked as much as a team," Pearl River coach Drew Gallant said. "We played so well together tonight. That was the difference in the two games — how we played as a team. That's why there were so many different goal scorers."
PLENTY OF SCORING
Similarly to the women's contest earlier, PRCC opened the scoring early in the 13th minute when Shande James (Trench Town, Jamaica; Clarendon College) settled a bouncing pass from Kealan Baggett (Ocean Springs), spun and fired it past the keeper for the 1-0 advantage.
PRCC went ahead 2-0 in the 27th minute when Burke tracked own a through ball from James. Burke put the ball on goal and somehow it squirted through the keeper's hands. Jonovan Cucurullo (Waveland; Bay) crashed the back corner and got his foot on the ball as he tumbled into the netting.
Tres Ray (Poplarville) extended PRCC's lead to 3-0 in the 34th minute when he lofted a ball from down the line on the right side, somehow tucking it just inside the near post past a bewildered keeper.
Caleb Burke (Ocean Springs) tacked on two goals in close proximity to one another in the second half. He scored his first in the 50th minute when he took a pass from Miguel Hernandez (Gulfport) down the left side and blasted a shot past the keeper.
Eight minutes later he weaved his way through the Bulldog defense and slipped a shot past a leaning keeper inside the left post.
"He played well against Meridian and then stepped up again tonight. This is the player we expected when we recruited him," Gallant said. "He was definitely the man of the match tonight with his two goals and even on his assist, the chance he created from the wing was great."
WALL IN GOAL
Freshman John Bowman (Bay St. Louis; Bay) stood tall yet again Friday, turning away all four shots he faced for his sixth shutout.
"John just doesn't give up goals," Gallant said.
Pearl River has a busy week ahead. The Wildcats play host to LSU-Eunice on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and then visit Southwest for a 4 p.m. start Friday.
HOW TO TUNE IN
All home events are broadcast on PRCCAthletics.com and PRCCMedia.com. Anyone who has an Amazon Fire or Roku device can stream PRCC broadcasts by downloading the "Pearl River CC" Channel from the app store.