COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Owls men's soccer team is a very different team than the fresh faced team that took Sprint Mart Field in early September. After a full season of facing formidable opponents and going against some of the best teams in the region, the Owls showed that they could hang with the best of them when they took on Pensacola Christian College in one of the last matches of the season. The W played hard and push back against the Eagles offense showing how far the team has come since its inception. Despite the change, the Owls were unable to take the win falling 4-2 to Pensacola on Saturday, Oct. 28.
On Friday night, the heavens opened up and it rain for hours causing a very muddy, messy field. Players on both team slipped and slid for most of the match, with several falls but the field conditions did not slow down the action.
The Owls opened up the first half of the game with a great defense front, limiting the Eagles chances at the goal. Jacob Johnson, Owl senior, began the scoring effort in the match with a goal half way through the first half.
Pensacola came back hard, scoring a goal seconds later and scoring an additional two goals before the close of the half.
The W enters the second part of the match down 3-1 but the Owls effort did not waiver. With a little over 30 minutes left in the game, Kyle Rodriguez entered the match for the Owls and scored The W's second goal with an assist from Paxton Bounds just a few yards out from the Pensacola goal.
With under three minutes to play, a confrontation on the field resulted in an Owls yellow card and Eagles red card and ejection of a Pensacola player. Regardless, the Eagles landed on top of the confrontation with a free kick which resulted in Pensacola's fourth and final goal.
The numbers on the scoreboard did not accurately depict the effort that the Owls men's soccer team put on the field. Tazz Sparks, freshman forward, switched to a defender position for Saturday's match and appeared to cover the entire field, pushing back at every turn. Sparks, a Columbus native, played in-your-face defense and was instrumental in preventing more Eagles goals.
John McGee, freshman goalkeeper, put in major work at the goal playing the entire 90 minutes with 8 saves and four goals.
On the offensive side of the ball, Johnson, playing in one of his last games as an Owl, put up a great showing for his team. The Destrehan, La. native recorded 6 shots with 3 shots on goals and he also collected 1 of 2 goals scored for The W.
Bounds, a junior from Pearl, Miss., also played well for the Owls with 3 recorded shots, 1 shot on goal, and 1 assist.
The Owls will be back on the field Sunday, Oct. 29 for their final game of the season. The W will take on Oakwood University at Sprint Mart Field with a kick-off time of 1 p.m. Come out and support the Owls as the play the final game of their inaugural season.
For the latest on Owls soccer and the rest of Owls athletics, visit the Owls official website, OwlsAthletics.com or follow the teams on the Owls social media pages at The W Athletics on Facebook and @TheWAthletics on Instagram and Twitter. Show you support for the team by using the #WinEveryDay.