THOMAS UPENDS FLORIDA SOUTHERN, 4-1
Luciano Lorca scored two goals and two other Night Hawk players scored their first goals of the season as Thomas University (GA) downed Florida Southern 4-1 on Friday afternoon.
The Night Hawks (2-2-1) came into the game riding high after an upset win over nationally ranked Saint Leo and a tie with West Florida. They kept the momentum going when Lorca and reserve midfielder David Gourges each scored goals in the first half to stake Thomas to a 2-0 lead.
Lorca scored the game's initial goal at the 29:30 mark, taking a pass from Alex Fleming into the box and slipping a shot past charging goalkeeper Johan Jonsson. Like the other Night Hawks who would later score, it was Lorca's first goal of the season. Gourges then scored less than two minutes later, sending a free kick into the upper corner of the net from just outside the box.
The Moccasins (1-3) re-grouped in the second half and appeared to be making headway. In the 58th minute, the Mocs nearly broke through when Givi Kokaia had a shot blocked inside the box at close range, setting up another chance with a corner kick. That gave Garrett Gaa a header, but goalkeeper Jan Feldman stopped it to preserve the two-goal lead.
Kokaia would then hit the crossbar in the 61st minute, and in the 63rd minute Kokaia was again denied with a great save by Feldman. Gaa was also frustrated by Feldman in the 66th minute when the Moccasins had yet another strong scoring chance.
After surviving Florida Southern's early second-half attempts, Lorca scored a back-breaking goal in the 71st minute. His second goal of the match came when he volleyed a rocket off a corner kick from Inigo Hernandez from just outside the box.
Hernandez would also assist the final goal with a long cross-field pass that set up Josh Bissen for a run down the left flank in the 77th minute.
Florida Southern eventually broke up the shutout when Eoghan Conlon scored with 2:46 remaining, a play started by Sebastian Haupt and also assisted by Jared Bellingar.
Florida Southern out-shot Thomas 16-15 in the match, and both goalkeepers made six saves. The Mocs had the better of it in the second half in terms of shots (8-6), but were kept at bay several times by Feldman.
Florida Southern concludes its road trip on Sunday afternoon with a match at the University of West Florida. Game time is 3:00 p.m. central time.