Oskaloosa–The Statesmen men’s soccer team did not pepper the opposing goal with many shots, but the ones that were taken were right on target as William Penn defeated Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) 4-1 in non-conference action Tuesday.
While WPU (1-1) was outshot 23-5, that stat is deceiving as play was quite even throughout. The navy and gold obviously took advantage of those limited opportunities, including a goal just 2:07 into the afternoon.
Anfernee Houston (Fr., Harrisburg, Ill., Kinesiology), who was making his collegiate debut, drove home a pass from Bill Baye (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn., Physical Education) for the day’s first score.
The Trojans (0-1-1) evened things up in the 32nd minute, but just over four minutes later Houston hooked up with Nenad Markovic (So., Belgrade, Serbia) to give the hosts the lead for good.
Houston tacked on another goal (assist to Markovic) in the 49th minute, and Markovic capped the scoring at the 85:04 mark. Jeremy Esparza (Sr., Evergreen Park, Ill., Pre-Law) collected the assist on the fourth goal.
Emannuel Esparza (So., Posen, Ill., Physical Education (K-12)) faced 17 shots in the second half, but most were off-line or blocked by a Statesmen defenseman. The sophomore recorded seven saves in the victory.
“Our guys earned a well-deserved victory today,” Head Coach Jaymee Highcock said. “We looked very fast and powerful on the counter attack and it was good to see what we have been learning in practice has come out in a game. Defensively, we were intense and solid. This team is very capable of scoring goals, so I am looking forward to when everything comes together.”
“Manny played a terrific game in goal and it was good for the subs to make a good impact as well,” Highcock added. “A big thank you to all the sports programs and coaches for coming to support us. We look forward to getting on the road and hopefully bringing back some good results.”
Next Up: William Penn travels to South Bend, Ind. this weekend to compete in the Goshen Tournament. On Friday, the Statesmen face Goshen (Ind.) at 5 p.m., while on Saturday, WPU takes on Holy Cross (Ind.) at 3 p.m.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage