Pioneer offense breaks out in 6-3 win at Catawba

Pioneer offense breaks out in 6-3 win at Catawba

SALISBURY, N.C. --- Sokho De Souza scored two goals and Henrique Devens had a goal and an assist to lead Tusculum University to a 6-3 victory over Catawba College in South Atlantic Conference men's soccer action Saturday night at the Frock Soccer Complex.

Nikola Vujicic scored in his fourth consecutive game, Pau Peiro scored his first career goal and Sander Johansen also scored for the Pioneers (4-6-2, 3-3-1 SAC), who reached a season high for goals against the Indians (6-6-0, 2-5-0 SAC).

De Souza scored on a penalty kick in the fifth minute and added a goal in the 61st minute for Tusculum, which led 3-1 at halftime and scored three times in the second half with Devens involved in each goal for the Pioneers.

Tusculum outshot Catawba by a 22-21 margin, including 12-6 in shots on goal. Catawba had 11 corner kicks to four by Tusculum and the Indians were flagged seven times for offsides while the Pioneers were called twice.

The Pioneers went ahead 1-0 just over four minutes into the first half as De Souza took a penalty kick and beat Indians keeper Luc Denisselle for his second goal of the season. Johansen gave the Pioneers a 2-0 lead at 18:16 as he scored on his own rebound, his second goal of the year.

Catawba trimmed the lead to 2-1 at 28:48 on a goal by Keenan Tuck, but Vujicic collected his fifth goal of the year at 35:16 to join Devens as Pioneers with goals in four straight games this season. Tusculum took their 3-1 lead into halftime despite being outshot 10-8 by Catawba in the opening half.

In the second half, De Souza netted his second of the game at 61:44 off an assist from Edgar Cervantes, which started a flurry of four goals in just over nine minutes for the two teams. Backup goalkeeper Gianluca Tommasi, who started the second half, had saves on Devens in the 66th minute and Johansen in the 67th minute, but could not stop Peiro in the 68th minute as he scored the first goal of his four-year career with Devens assisting.

Trailing 5-1, Catawba cut into the Tusculum lead just under a minute later as Finley Carroll scored at 68:28, but Devens scored his fifth of the year at 70:59 assisted by Cervantes to extend the Tusculum advantage to 6-2. Carroll closed the scoring with his second of the night at 78:28, with an assist to Sam Henneberg.

Sam Gilbert played all 90 minutes in goal for the Pioneers and finished with three saves, while Denisselle had two saves in the first half and Tommasi four in the second half for the Indians.

Tusculum will return to action on Sunday, October 27 at Pioneer Field against Coker, in a match scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.