The Choctaws defeated Hardin-Simmons 5-0 in quarterfinal action.
Clarksville, Ark. – Mississippi College advanced the semifinals of the American Southwest Conference Men’s Soccer Championship with a 5-0 shutout win over fifth-seeded Hardin-Simmons Friday at Hurie Field.
“The big thing for us was getting our feet down and going the right direction early,” said Choctaws head coach Kevin Johns. “We had the confidence to go forward after the early goals.”
The fourth-seeded Choctaws received a pair of early goals from junior forward Phillip Buffington. The Jackson, Mississippi native scored the game’s first goal off a corner kick assist from junior forward Chris Rash in the sixth minute. In the 12th minute, Buffington beat the Cowboys’ sophomore goalkeeper Justin Shepherd for his second goal of the game and 19th of the season off an assist from freshman defender Ed Barney.
Mississippi College added a third goal in the first half as Rash scored in the 22nd minute off another corner kick.
The Choctaws would pick up two second half goals as Rash scored unassisted in the 60th minute and freshman David Slowik came off the bench to notch his first career goal in the 79th minute, giving Mississippi College a five-goal advantage.
Shepherd made eight saves in net for the Cowboys, while Mississippi College’s freshman goalkeeper Andrew Dailey secured the shutout with 10 stops.
“Our heart is in our defense,” said Johns. “That is our most talented group of players. Overall, I think our defense did a good job with organization and team defending.”
Mississippi College posted 15 total shots, including 13 on goal and was awarded eight corner kicks. Hardin-Simmons recorded 14 total shots, including 10 on net. The Cowboys received six corner kicks.
The Choctaws improve to 12-4-1 overall on the season and the Cowboys fall to 8-8-1.
Mississippi College moves on to take on the top seed and host University of the Ozarks Eagles Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The winner will advance to the conference championship game Sunday at 1:00 p.m.