Two for Two: Hofstetter and Holmes Each Score Twice in 6-2 Win Over St. Thomas
LAKELAND – Zach Hofstetter doesn’t have to go back very far to remember the last time he scored two goals in a game. For Ashley Holmes to remember the last time he scored two goals in a game takes a little more effort. Both players did it Friday night, however, as Florida Southern improved to 3-0 with a 6-2 win over St. Thomas.
The start of the game was delayed by severe weather in the area for nearly 2½ hours, but once it started, the Moccasins were on the board quickly. Hofstetter scored his first goal of the night at the 7:50 mark by ripping a shot from 25 yards off the right post for a 1-0 Moccasin lead. Holmes scored the next two, giving the fourth-year junior defender his first career multi-goal game, and Hofstetter added his second later in the night for his second multi-goal game in less than a week.
The Mocs also received goals from Brad Hunt and Luke Jenner, giving Florida Southern 14 goals in the first three games. It also marked the first time in 14 years the Mocs started a season with three straight games of four or more goals.
“I really liked the poise we showed after the long delay,” said head coach Hugh Seyfarth. “We came out well organized, with good energy and set the tempo for the first 30 minutes.”
The Moccasins held a 3-0 lead at halftime, and Hofstetter was involved in all three goals. After scoring the first one, he helped set up Holmes on a pair of set plays. The first one came on a free kick in the 14th minute, when Hofstetter curled a long free kick into the box where it was placed perfectly for a header by Holmes. Then, just before halftime, Hofstetter’s left-side corner kick carried all the way into the right corner where Viktor Bakkioui retrieved it, and sent the ball back into the box for another Holmes header at the far post.
“That third goal was the one I was most pleased with because it was something we had talked about. We’d been working on how to finish out a half and use the clock to our advantage, and we played that corner kick exactly the way it was supposed to be played. Viktor’s cross was just sublime.”
Florida Southern out-shot St. Thomas 12-3 in the first half, and the only serious threat posed by the Bobcats (0-4) during that time came in the 25th minute. After a free kick near the top of the box, Jhonathan Rico got off two strong shots, but the first was blocked by Holmes and the second was blocked by J.D. Ruiz.
Florida Southern kept the pressure on in the second half with passing by Bakkioui and Hofstetter forcing the issue in the 58th minute. The Bobcats managed to shut them down, preventing either of them from taking a shot on the play, but the ball ended up at the feet of Hunt, who looped one just under the crossbar for his first goal of the season.
St. Thomas broke up the shutout in the 65th minute on a great individual effort by Junior Montano. Dribbling across the field from the right sideline, Montano was able to move into position for a 20-yard blast off the right post similar to Hofstetter’s first goal early in the match.
The Moccasins responded though with goals in the 73rd and 75th minutes, with Hofstetter scoring the first one and Jenner the second. Hofstetter’s came at the end of a downfield pass by Ricky Marton, and gave the 5th-year senior his second straight game with two goals and two assists. He’s the first player in team history to accomplish that twice in his career.
Rico closed out the scoring for St. Thomas Friday night in the 85th minute, taking a pass down the middle from Eran Belo, and beating Moccasin goalkeeper Charlie Craig 1-on-1.
“We’ve got another game coming up on Sunday against West Florida, so it was nice to be able to substitute like we did and get a lot of players into the game.”
The Moccasins and Argonauts will kick off at noon on Sunday.