No. 24 Southeastern Takes Care of TSC Foe Warner on Home Pitch
LAKELAND, Fla. – The newly-ranked No. 24 Southeastern University men’s soccer team turned in a prolific offensive performance on their home pitch. The Fire defeated the Warner University Royals 5-3 to improve to 7-1-1 on the season and 2-0 in Sun Conference play.
The Fire came out aggressive from the onset of the contest, finishing three chances for goals in the first 21 minutes of play.
“It was a good conference win at home. The starting group executed the game plan very well in the beginning of both halves,” shared head coach Clay Roberts.
Senior forward Bruno Henrique was the catalyst for onslaught of scoring, finding the back of the net in the third minute off the dish from freshman forward Julian Hall to go up 1-0.
Senior forward Jake Van Der Luit followed suit in the 10th minute, rocketing a beautifully placed long ball from junior defender James Paylor into the upper 90 to put the Fire ahead 2-0.
The third early goal by the Fire was a cross from sophomore Ben-Avir Espinal that was headed into the back of the net by junior midfielder Craig Barker.
The Royals got on the board late in the first half, when junior forward Daniel Rodriguez scored his first of two goals on the contest in the 41st minute.
SEU took a 3-1 lead over WU into the half, despite being outshot by the Royals 8-6 in the half. However, all six of the Fire first-half shots were on frame.
The Fire continued their attack early in the second half, as Van Der Luit slotted a through ball from junior defender Reece Riggins near post to put SEU ahead 4-1.
The score notched Van Der Luit his third consecutive two-goal game and catapulted into third place in The Sun Conference individual goal race with nine on the season.
Henrique turned in a two-goal performance of his own. The Sao Paulo, Brazil native beamed a short pass from Barker into the far post to put SEU ahead 5-1.
The Royals responded with goals in the 63rd and 83rd minutes to cut the deficit to 5-3, but were unable to draw any closer.
“Collectively as a group we have to get better and so we will go back to the drawing board as we prepare for Johnson & Wales at home,” commented Roberts.
Next up, the Fire host Johnson & Wales University on Saturday. Match time is set for 7 p.m.