MONTGOMERY, Ala. – In the NAIA National Game of the Week on Saturday, the Southern Polytechnic State University men’s soccer team – playing its third consecutive Southern States Athletic Conference road match – dropped a 2-1 decision to the Auburn University at Montgomery Warhawks at the AUM Soccer Complex. Auburn Montgomery is ranked sixth nationally in the NAIA while Southern Polytechnic is at No. 10, and the two squads entered the contest tied for first place in the SSAC.
“When you miss two open nets in the first 15 minutes, which we did, you don’t deserve to win,” Southern Poly head coach Kom Momeni said. “If you don’t have the quality in front of the goal, it will always come back to haunt you.”
The Hornets took an early lead when sophomore forward Omar Kanteh headed in a goal on an assist from junior midfielder Juan Henao off a corner kick in the 10th minute (9:11). SPSU stayed on top until the Warhawks scored in the 31st minute (30:59), making it a tie game at halftime. The match remained deadlocked until the 63rd minute (62:11), when the hosts came up with the game-winning goal.
“Both of AUM’s goals were scrappy goals,” Momeni said. “They just wanted it more than us in critical parts of the field.
“Both teams had 12 shots and four shots on goal. It was an even game, I thought."
After being outshot by two in the opening 45 minutes, Southern Poly had a 6-4 advantage in shots during the second half. Both teams took two shots on goal in each half. The Hornets also finished with a 6-4 edge in corner kicks.
In goal for SPSU, senior Dennis Kramer – this week’s NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week – played all 90 minutes and was credited with a pair of saves. Southern Poly dips to 9-3-0 overall and 5-2-0 in SSAC play while Auburn Montgomery is 11-2-1 overall, including 6-1-0 in the conference.
The Hornets are back in action on Wednesday when hosting a SSAC contest with the Brewton-Parker College Barons. The match is set for 3 p.m. at Nuesoft Technologies Field.