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Pearl River nets four goals in triumph over ICC

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Mohamed Diallo (Gulfport) dished out a career-high three assists on Friday while helping lead Pearl River to a 4-0 victory over visiting Itawamba at the PRCC Soccer Complex. The victory improved the Wildcats to 3-0 on the season.

“I don’t think the score depicts how close the game was,” head coach Drew Galant said. “It’s always nice to have lots of scorers. 

“We probably have eight different goal scorers on the season.”

Like in the women’s game, ICC actually took the action to PRCC early on. It wasn’t until the 35thminute that the Wildcats broke through on a corner kick. Diallo sent a ball into the box and Alex Emery (Gulfport; West Harrison) picked it out of a crowd and hammered it home.

The two teamed up again eight minutes into the second half off of a free kick. Diallo set up to the keeper’s right just outside the box and sent a kick in to Emery on the far post. The PRCC defender was left unmarked and headed it into the net.

“It’s nice to be 6-4 and dangerous on set pieces,” Gallant said of Emery.

The freshman defender credited Diallo’s awareness for their second goal.

“He saw that they weren’t really marking us yet and they were taking a while to get back on the ball so he put it down real quick, he saw me and I just flicked it,” Emery said. 

Pearl River extended its lead to 3-0 in the 73rd minute off a third assist from Diallo.  

The Gulfport native sent a cross through the box from right to left. Miguel Hernandez (Gulport) got on the end of the ball going to his left and sent it back across the keeper and into the net.

“It’s about time from Mo,” Gallant said. “He’s still not fully fit from his injury but it was good to see him have that kind of performance.”

Max Matsenbaugh (Pass Christian; St. Stanislaus) capped the scoring in the 86th minute when he bent a left-footed shot around the keeper and inside the far post.

WALL IN NET
In addition to establishing some scoring depth, Wildcat keeper John Bowman (Bay St. Louis; Bay) “did John Bowman things” in earning his second shutout in three games.

“He had an All-American type of performance today,” Gallant said. “John had some unbelievable saves. He did that all last year for us. He’s getting good training and it’s showing.”

Bowman’s first big save came about the 25 minute mark when he dove to his right to turn away a point blank shot.

Later in the match he had another huge save one-on-one with an ICC attacker all alone in front of the net, keeping his clean sheet intact.

“John puts in the work every single day,” Emery said. “He gets to practice before everybody every time and he’s in there putting in those extra sessions with Mike and he just works. He’s always working.” 

NEXT UP
The Wildcats are back in action Monday when they host Jones College for the annual “Cat Fight” on the pitch. The men will kickoff at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast for free at PRCCMedia.com

Fans who have a Roku or Fire device can also tune in by downloading the Pearl River CC channel from their app store.