HARTSVILLE, S.C. --- Shawn Foster and Henrique Devens each scored a pair of goals as Tusculum University routed Coker College 6-0 in South Atlantic Conference men's soccer action Saturday afternoon.
Georgios Charkoutsakis and Endjick Albert also scored for the Pioneers (9-6-1, 6-3-1 SAC), who locked up third place in the final SAC standings and will host a SAC Championship quarterfinal home match on Tuesday night at Pioneer Field. Tusculum, which outshot Coker (5-9-1, 3-6-1 SAC) 20-4 in the match, ended the regular season by going 7-1-1 in their final nine matches and outscoring their opponents by a margin of 20 to 4.
Goalkeeper Alejandro Quiriti made two saves for his eighth shutout of the season, tying him for third on the program single-season shutout list with Bill McClay (1977). Quiriti had six shutouts in 10 conference matches, allowing a total of seven goals in those contests.
Foster scored in the 14th and 43rd minutes for the Pioneers, while Devens added the final two goals in the 71st and 78th minutes for his second two-goal game of the season.
The six goals for the Pioneers were a season high and their most since a 7-0 victory over Brevard on Oct. 8, 2014. It was also the most goals for the Pioneers in a road match since a 6-0 win at Salem International on Sept. 8, 2007 and their largest margin of victory in an away conference match since an 11-0 triumph at Newberry on Oct. 12, 2002.
Foster opened the scoring at 13:48 as he took a short cross from Pau Peiro and beat Coker keeper Justin Watkins for his third goal of the season. Fabian Proesch nearly extended the lead to 2-0 in the 21st minute, but his blast from 30 yards caromed directly off the crossbar.
The first shot of the game for the Cobras came in the 23rd minute as Quiriti smothered an attempt from Kasper Wallstroem and saw the rebound attempt sail high and wide.
Ayuk Tambe had a good look in the 30th minute, but his try went wide of the far post. Following the play, Watkins went down with an injury and was removed from the game in favor of Zach Watson.
Albert came on as a substitute in the 36th minute and scored less than 30 seconds later, collecting a loose ball to the left of Watson and firing past him for his first goal of the season at 36:16.
Foster made it 3-0 Pioneers with exactly two minutes to go in the half as Clement Dagorn served into the box off a defender and Foster headed home his second of the match, third in the last two contests and fourth of the season.
In the second half, Coker had the first opportunity to score as a free kick from Joao Silva sailed high over the Tusculum goal. Devens had a good chance with 30 minutes remaining off a corner kick, but Watson went to his knees to smother his header attempt.
The Pioneers pushed their lead to 4-0 exactly midway through the second half, as a corner kick by Oscar Rubio Jimenez was blocked back to him, and his service to the center was converted by Charkoutsakis into his first goal of the year with 22:30 left.
Devens made it 5-0 Tusculum with 19:35 left on a brilliant shot to the far post off a sharp angle, assisted by Ivan Andabak. About 7 1/2 minutes later, Devens was perfectly placed to knock home a rebound of a shot off the post by Albert. His sixth goal of the year and Tusculum's sixth of the game came with 12:09 remaining.
Devens nearly completed the hat trick with just over five minutes remaining, but his shot just missed the same far post he scored on earlier in the half. Coker's final chance came with 1:24 left as Quadarius Grate broke in on the left side, but was denied by Quiriti at close range.
Tusculum finished the match with a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks, and was whistled for 19 fouls to just seven by the Cobras. Watson had the only save for Coker in the second half of the match.
The SAC Championship tournament will begin Tuesday with four quarterfinal matches hosted by the top four seeds. The semifinals will be Friday, Nov. 2 and the championship match will be Sunday, Nov. 4 at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, South Carolina.