POPLARVILLE – After opening the 2015 season with a double dose of victory in two road games, Pearl River makes its home soccer debut Friday with a pair of games against Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Kickoff at the PRCC Athletic Complex for the women’s game is set for 5 p.m., with the men’s game scheduled for approximately 7 p.m.
“It will be nice to finally play at home,” said Lady Wildcats coach Jack Byrd.
PRCC opens defense of its twin MACJC state championships with its South Division opener against Gulf Coast. And in the case of the men’s game, it is a rematch of last season’s state tournament championship game, won by the Wildcats in an overtime shootout.
The Wildcats have opened the season with victories of 4-0 over Holmes and 3-0 over Hinds. On Tuesday against the Eagles, sophomore Chance Bourdene had a goal and an assist, and sophomore goalkeeper Grant Adam had six saves behind a solid defensive effort led by sophomore defender Trevor Krol, who earned Man of the Match honors.
“The strength of this team is the quality of our depth,” said PRCC men’s coach Paul Martin. “We talk a lot about impact players off the bench, and we got that against Hinds. We got a great effort from guys like Parker Rose, who had a critical assist off the bench.”
Gulf Coast is 2-1 after a wild 5-3 victory over East Central on Tuesday.
For the Lady Wildcats, offense has been the hallmark. PRCC has scored 13 goals so far this season in victories over Holmes (6-0) and Hinds (7-0).
Sophomore Lyndsey Lee had three goals for Pearl River, and sophomore Delaney Gustafson had a goal and an assist against the Lady Eagles. In all, seven players have scored for the Lady Wildcats.
“Lyndsey is a natural goal-scorer,” said Byrd. “She’s going to put the ball on the net. And our midfield and back really did a great job. They have made sure we spread the (scoring) wealth.”
The Lady Bulldogs are 0-3 and have been outscored 12-0 in their three losses.
“No matter what, Gulf Coast is a rivalry,” Byrd said. “We’re going to get their best.”
The Lady Wildcats will return to action at 2 p.m. Sunday as they travel to play the Mississippi College junior varsity. PRCC is back at home on Tuesday, facing Meridian in a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.