Penalty kick in OT decides battle of undefeated teams
POPLARVILLE — Ninety minutes wasn’t enough to decide Wednesday’s battle of undefeated squads as Pearl River’s men hosted Southwest.
Prime chances were at a premium through regulation at the PRCC soccer complex, especially considering the Bears wanted to sit back, let the play come to them and then attempt to counter the Wildcats.
The start to overtime was much the same, with PRCC holding possession but in the 96th minute the referee ruled a Southwest attacker was brought down on the edge of the box. The call sent the nation’s second leading scorer in Patrick Larsen to the penalty spot.
PRCC keeper Kobe Lie (Hattiesburg; North Forrest) guessed correctly, lunging to his right, but Larsen tucked the ball just inside the post for the golden goal victory.
Pearl River midfielder Ethan Hodby — shown heading a ball against Itawamba — was active throughout the field Wednesday as the Wildcats hosted Southwest. The Bears picked up a 1-0 win in overtime, scoring on a penalty kick. (BRETT RUSS/PRCC ATHLETICS)
PRCC (7-1 overall, 3-1 MACJC South) will look to start another streak Sept. 25 when Holmes visits Poplarville. The men are scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m.
The loss to Southwest (6-0, 3-0) stings, but head coach Drew Gallant’s hopeful the ending sticks with his players. The chance at an undefeated season was squashed Wednesday, but the Wildcats still have plenty to play for.
“I want them to see that maybe they weren’t as good as they thought they were," he said. "Everybody in this league can lose; everybody loses. That’s just the way it works.
"What we’re more focused on is did we get better tonight? What can we take away from the game to get better?”
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