Bakkioui's Goal and Brilliant Defense Beat Barry 1-0
MIAMI SHORES – Time and time again, Ashley Holmes and the Moccasin defense turned away the Barry Buccaneers on Saturday, all so that Viktor Bakkioui could steal the glory at the end. No one’s complaining. With the Moccasins picking up their second shutout of the year, and Bakkioui scoring in the 82nd minute, Florida Southern defeated #22 Barry 1-0 for its second win over a nationally ranked opponent this season.
With the win, Florida Southern upped its record to 7-2-1 overall and 2-2 in the Sunshine State Conference. The record now includes wins over #22 Barry and #17 Rollins, and it’s the best 10-game mark for the Moccasins since the 1997 team started 8-1-1.
Bakkioui’s goal was a brilliant shot into the upper left corner of the net, after an equally impressive service by Brad Hunt. The sophomore midfielder hit Bakkioui near the top right corner of the penalty box with a long cross coming from the middle of the field, setting up his teammate for an opportunity to score. Bakkioui went high to bring the ball under control, and with goalkeeper Johnny Rodrigues coming off his line, lofted a shot back across the box that dipped under the crossbar for his seventh goal of the season.
“This was very much a disciplined win,” said FSC head coach Hugh Seyfarth. “We had discipline in our shape, our defense, our passing, and in not committing silly fouls. You have to give a lot of credit to our back four, but our overall team shape was outstanding all throughout the game.”
A scoreless first half saw Barry (5-2-2, 2-1 Sunshine State Conference) with a 6-5 edge in shots, and the only two shots on goal both came from the Buccaneers in the first six minutes. The first was the most threatening, with Kendall Sealy receiving a long ball from Rodrigues and getting behind most of the Moccasin defense. That forced Florida Southern’s goalkeeper, Johan Jonsson, to come out for the challenge, and Sealy was able to work around him for what appeared to be an open net. However, Ryan Arndt forced him to take an extra step to one side, and Holmes moved into position between the posts and easily blocked Sealy’s shot.
Barry had two more shots on back-to-back corner kicks in the 17th minute, but much of the first half for Florida Southern was controlled by Holmes and outside back J.D. Ruiz. When Rodrigues nearly set up another scoring opportunity for Barry in the 21st minute, Ruiz cut off Sealy in the corner of the box before the sophomore forward could work the ball inside for a shot. Later, in the 32nd minute, both Holmes and Ruiz blocked shots inside the box, and Holmes made a big stop by himself in the 41st.
Florida Southern’s two best scoring chances in the first half came on free kicks by Zach Hofstetter that resulted in headers by Ricky Marton. Hofstetter then nearly beat Bakkioui to the game-winning goal when he hit a screaming liner from 20 yards over the crossbar in the 80th minute. That too was set up by Hunt.
The Florida Southern defense was just as impressive in the second half as it was in the first. Ruiz snuffed out an attack in the opening minutes, and five minutes later it was Logan Albritton’s turn to come up big, cutting off a cross by Sealy in the middle of the box when Barry was moving quickly up-field on a counter-attack. An even more dangerous situation occurred in the 69th minute when Mark Anderson fed Godfrey Francois a through ball right from the top of the box, but that chance was broken up by Marton.
“Logan really stepped up today when we lost Luke Jenner for a long stretch of the game,” said Seyfarth. “It turned out to be a huge substitution for us with all of the headers and tackles he won. It gave us a big lift when we really needed it.”
After scoring the go-ahead goal, the Mocs had to withstand two strong attacks by the Buccaneers in the final five minutes. One of those came on a free kick from the top of the box that Anderson sent just wide of the net. The Mocs held their own, however, allowing only 10 shots in the match, recording just their second shutout in the 26-game series with Barry, and the first since 1997.
The win was also Florida Southern’s first at Buccaneer field since it upset the top-ranked Buccaneers 3-2 in double overtime in 2000.
“I am so proud of the way this young team has handled itself this year. We knew we could be a good team back in August, even after we were picked to finish ninth in the SSC.”
Florida Southern now has wins over the defending SSC regular season champions (Rollins) and the defending SSC Tournament champions (Barry). The Mocs have also beaten two ranked teams in the same season for only the second time in school history; in addition to their win over Barry in 2000, they also beat 3rd-ranked South Carolina-Spartanburg.
Florida Southern will be home on Tuesday night when it hosts the University of Tampa at 7:00 p.m.