Clarksville, Ark.-After a sluggish first half amid hot temperatures, the Eagles scored three second half goals to take a 4-0 win over Central Baptist College in Tuesday's exhibition match at Hurie Field.
Ozarks held possession for most of the match and the Mustangs never really made a serious scoring threat during the 90 minute contest. Sophomore forward Scott Janders broke a scoreless game in the 41st minute with a goal. Janders nearly scored again three minutes later, but his header attempt sailed just over the crossbar.
In the second half, junior defender Devon Utley scored on a header in the 47th minute. Junior forward Guido Salas followed with a goal in the 53rd minute. The final score came on what was probably the match’s most impressive goal from freshman midfielder Victor Garcia in the 88th minute. In the unofficial statistics, junior midfielder Tony Santoro recorded three assists.
“We really got into things in the second half,” said head coach John Cossaboon. “It was the first time on the field as a group so we were just really sorting ourselves out. Guys had never played in an actual game with each other. But that is why we play these exhibition games. We hope to get everything cleaner before our first regular season game. In general, we want to just take a step up from where we were today. We didn’t have any glaring mistakes today, but it was a little lackluster in the attacking area. We need to have an attacking, aggressive style the whole game.”
Neil Thompson played 60 shutout minutes in goal as the starter. Christian Ridings and Hugo Cardenas kept the shutout intact as they played 24 and 6 minutes, respectively.
Ozarks will host Southwestern Christian University in another exhibition match this Friday at 4:00 p.m.
The Eagles open regular season play September 1 in Shreveport, La., against LSU-Shreveport. The Eagles will then face NCAA I Centenary College September 2.