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MAC men’s soccer team wins twice in Mississippi

Mineral Area sophomore Kyle Nicholls (10) takes a corner kick during first half men’s soccer action against Itawamba on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Park Hills. (Matt King,

SENATOBIA, Miss. – The Mineral Area men’s soccer team withstood a series challenge in the closing moments on Sunday to continue its stellar start to the season.

Tom Walton netted a crucial insurance goal off a corner kick in the 69th minute, and attempted five shots overall as the Cardinals edged host NW Mississippi 3-2.

Oliver Brennan put Mineral Area (6-0-1) ahead unassisted, and Shay Carey buried a penalty kick two minutes later for a 2-0 advantage.

Kyle Nicholls picked up the assist to Walton, who finished with a team-high five shots on goal. The Cardinals were assessed four yellow cards as the teams combined for 27 fouls.

Josh Wilson preserved a shutout bid as the winning keeper through 73 minutes, and MAC pushed its program-record unbeaten streak to seven matches.

NW Mississippi failed to create a shot on goal until Junior Sandoval beat back-up Grady Wilson on a free kick from Gabriel Burton in the 79th minute.

Sandoval scored his second of the contest with 2:30 remaining, but the Rangers could not complete the comeback while being down one man for a majority of the second half.

Soren Voges-Haupt was disqualified after drawing a second yellow card. Mineral Area decisively outshot NW Mississippi 21-7 overall.

Mineral Area 3, Meridian 2

SENATOBIA, Miss. – Orran Mushet converted a tiebreaking penalty kick in the 79th minute for his team-leading fourth goal, and Mineral Area rallied in the second half to overtake Meridian 3-2 on Saturday.

Jack Taylor squared the match in the 59th minute on a pass from Kyle Nicholls, who picked up the first goal for the Cardinals to create a 1-1 deadlock.

The Cardinals dominated the second stanza with 16-0 disparity in total shots. Mushet totaled five shots, and Alex Wilkinson had four chances.

Meridian committed 15 fouls compared to seven by MAC, and grabbed a 2-1 lead at intermission after Calvin Jackson finished an assist from Thiago Fasano.

Maty Longdon gave the Eagles a 1-0 edge on a direct free kick past winning goalie Josh Wilson during the 18th minute.

Mineral Area earned seven corner kicks.


Meridian 2, Mineral Area 0

SENATOBIA, Miss. – The Mineral Area women battled to take 12 shots on Saturday, but two threats were stopped by keeper Sophie Young as Meridian won 2-0.

Meridian tallied on a pair of corner kicks about nine minutes apart in the first half. Ember Temple notched both assists as Holly Gillies and Rosi Burford finished.

Lauren Smith had a game-high five shots.

Nevaeh Larkins made eight saves, and Lydia Pascoe directed two shots on goal for Mineral Area (0-3).

NW Mississippi 4, Mineral Area 0

SENATOBIA, Miss. – Jada Jelks struck for a goal in the 10th minute, and added an assist as unbeaten NW Mississippi generated a deluge of 36 shots to rout Mineral Area 4-0 on Sunday.

Mari Julia Delgado, Raegan Tucker and Brandy Hernandez also scored, and Anna Kathryn Harrell made a pair of saves for NW Mississippi (6-0), which carried a 2-0 halftime lead.

Mineral Area (0-4) endured a third consecutive shutout loss with Emilia Wunderlich and Rylee Mirth notching its only two shots.

Thea Draganova delivered 12 saves for the Cardinals, who will look to break through Wednesday against the Missouri Baptist junior varsity squad.

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