By Matthew Osterhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Flagler College Saints (4-3-1, 3-0-0 PBC) defeated the Clayton State University Lakers (4-4-0, 0-1-0 PBC) on Saturday.
A fast start paved the way to an important Peach Belt Conference victory in front of a large crowd at Flagler Field, leaving the Saints atop the conference standings. Within three minutes of the opening whistle, teammates Mack Hough and Pol Berenguer scored to put the Saints up 2-0.
“We started like a house on fire. We wanted to start fast because Clayton hadn’t played in 10 days,” said John Lynch, head men’s soccer coach. “We just thought we might catch them a little flat. We’re really pleased to get that start.”
Hough scored the opening goal. After Frandsen sent in a long throw in, midfielder Conor Killeen sent a pass to the back post, finding Hough for the header.
“Once we get up near the goal and he can launch them, we just crowd the box and often things happen,” Killeen said.
Within moments of Clayton State kicking off to resume the game, Flagler College scored again. This time it was Berenguer who found space at the back post, putting a volley in the net from a long cross.
“We should have kept going. The game would have been over from there, but we slipped back and let them play a little more,” said Berenguer.
Clayton State regrouped and pushed Flagler back as the half progressed. Laker’s forward Leighton Fredericks scored with two minutes remaining in the half. He ripped a low shot into the far netting.
The Saints needed to regroup at halftime.
Flagler responded to the challenge and hit the field with purpose in the second half. Only five minutes in, Flagler’s Berenguer scored his second goal and snatched the momentum from Clayton State. The Laker’s goalkeeper misplayed a cross, leaving Flagler forward Toby Joseph space to find Berenguer with an open net.
Hough added his second goal of the night midway through the half to seal the victory. He is the team’s leading scorer with four goals.
The defense, anchored by defender Kevin Partel and goalkeeper Matt Gilman, played well and did not allow Clayton State back into the game. Midfielder Johan Bergfeld acted as the focal point of the Saints possession and distributed the ball well.
“I think we have beaten a very good team,” Lynch said.