Photo by Michael Sandoz
The Southern Miss women’s soccer team (1-3) held its home opener against South Alabama (3-0-1) on Sept. 5. With only eight games at home this season, Coach Mohammed El-Zare believes that the early road games were a blessing for the team.
“It is always wonderful to be around our fans and playing at home. It was a long three weeks where we were on the road, but it allowed us to bond and get together,” El-Zare said. “Having a winning result against the powerhouse of the Sun Belt and playing well throughout the game and executing our game plan. I am so satisfied with it.”
Golden Eagle goalie Kendell Mindnich kept the Jaguars at bay the entire first half with three saves.
“I think our defense was pretty solid this game; we worked together. We’ve had a little spell here and there, but we are definitely working together a lot better,” Mindnich said. “They just have my back a lot of the time. Up top, Ariel and Poh were combing so well and we just got to keep that up for the next few games.”
Forward Hailey Pohevitz scored the only goal of the game with an assist from Ariel Diaz at 19:04 left.
“It’s really good to be out there with the team that supports you and helps you with the attack. I had a great cross from Ariel, a couple of chances that I could have hit as well,” Pohevitz said. “It just feels awesome to get my team on top. We came back from a loss and needed to get back on top. It feels nice to be scoring goals fast.”
Southern Miss had 13 fouls, which was part of El-Zare’s strategy.
“Well we wanted to cut off their inside passes and I thought that Haliey Pohevitz and Jacky [Manteas] and also when Jenny [Caracheo] came in, they cut off those passes in the middle and forced them to play a vertical game, which really played into our hands,” El-Zare said. “We knew if they wanted to take shots from 40 yards out, they can take all that. We feel good about both of our goalkeepers that have done an outstanding job, so that game plan worked.”
The Golden Eagles’ victory brought their record to 2-3. Southern Miss is back at home again Sunday Sept. 8 against the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils.