Game Notes: MSOC faces must win at Truett-McConnell
By Matt Green
Hawks (7-6, 3-4) at Truett-McConnell (1-11, 0-7)
Saturday, Oct. 15 • 4:30 pm • Cleveland, Ga.
CLEVELAND, Ga. -- The Shorter men's soccer team heads to Cleveland, Ga., this Saturday, Oct. 15 to take on Truett-McConnell College at 4:30 pm in a critical Southern States Athletic Conference tilt. The Hawks (7-6, 3-4 SSAC) are in a tie for seventh place in the league with Lee, but are just a half game up on Southern Wesleyan for the eighth and final spot in the SSAC Tournament. The Bears (1-11, 0-7) are all but eliminated from postseason contention, but would be happy to play spoiler against the Hawks, who take on Southern Wesleyan and Lee over the next two Tuesdays.
Shorter has never lost to Truett-McConnell and holds a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series. The teams last met at Shorter last season, when the Hawks got four goals from Garry Perks en route to a 7-3 victory.
The time is now for the Shorter men's soccer team, which withstood a brutal schedule to open SSAC play and now faces several crucial league matchups down the stretch. Five of the Hawks' first six conference games were against ranked opponents, and Shorter began the second half of its conference season with a 3-0 victory over Brewton-Parker. Of its final five SSAC games, three are against teams currently behind the Hawks in the league standings. Wins in those matches should all but guarantee the Hawks a spot in the SSAC Tournament.
Senior Garry Perks should be chomping at the bit as Shorter prepares to renew its rivalry with Truett-McConnell. Shorter's second all-time leading scorer tied a school record with four goals against the Bears in a 7-3 Shorter win last season. Perks had a hat trick by the 15th minute then scored his fourth and final goal less than eight minutes into the second half as the Hawks raced out to a 7-1 advantage. Shorter has scored 12 goals in its two meetings with Truett, including a 5-3 win on Ben Brady Field in 2009.
FINDING HIS GAME
Junior goalie Ryan Edwards has put his best foot forward in Shorter's last five outings. The Douglasville native has allowed just four goals in his last five starts, a run that includes his second and third clean sheets of the season. Three of those goals came against a 12th-ranked William Carey side and an 18th-ranked AUM squad while one of those two shutouts came at the expense of then No. 5-ranked Belhaven, whom the Hawks upset 1-0.