HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker University men's soccer team picked up a big South Atlantic Conference victory on Wednesday (Oct.2) against the Anderson University Trojans by a score of 4-1. The win marks the second conference victory for the Cobras, and their sixth win overall. Coker came into tonight's match riding a three game winning streak, which helped them earn a ranking in the United Soccer Coaches Southeast Region Poll.
One key reason for the Cobras' recent success is the ability to jump out to early leads. Coach Michael Antoniewicz's team was able to do just that in the 30th minute. Morgan Ratcliffe sent the ball into the box on a free kick, Jacques Fokam-Sandeu gained possession on the far right side, and fired a rocket past the opposing goalkeeper Gal Elyashiv to give the Cobras an early 1-0 lead. In the 35th minute, the Cobras were awarded a corner kick. Adam Garner was able to find the head of Robi Obrstar, whose header extended the Cobra lead to 2-0.
Just before halftime, Anderson's striker Shalev Keter escaped the Cobra defense and scored the first goal of the match for the Trojans, as the Cobras went into halftime with a 2-1 advantage.
"Jumping out to a big lead gave us the confidence we needed," said coach Antoniewicz. "Our defensive shape was brilliant tonight."
The story of the second half was the play of Christian Provenzano, who was named the SAC AstroTurf Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday (Oct. 1). Provenzano was dominant on the outside wing for the Cobras. Midway through the second half he broke past the Trojan defense, beat a defender and placed the ball in the back of the net to extend the Cobras' lead to 3-1. In the 86th minute, Provenzano was able to get past the Trojan defenders once again, as he scored his second goal of the match to lead the Cobras to a 4-1 victory.
"We executed our gameplan to perfection," said coach Antoniewicz. "It was a total team effort and another big step in the right direction as we prepare for Catawba on Saturday."
The Cobras will be back in action on Saturday (Oct. 5) as they will host the Catawba College Indians on homecoming weekend. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.