PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast won its 16th straight MACJC South contest Tuesday, downing archrival Pearl River 4-0 at the MGCCC Soccer Complex.
It wasn't an easy task, though.
"We were opportunistic in the first half to be up 1-0," Bulldogs coach Chris Handy said. "We played better the second half and controlled the game. I can't take anything away from them. I'm happy we got the result we needed. "
C.J. Smith (Fr, Brampton, Ontario/David Suzuki Secondary School) took a free kick quickly in the 41st minute to set up the goal. Gulf Coast had been methodically taking free kicks from the same distance, about 25 yards out, but this time was different.
"We just made eye contact and he poked it through," said Jeff Bruni Jr. (So, Gulfport/Gulfport).
The duo had tried the same thing in a 2-1 loss at No. 1 Tyler, but the keeper saved it. This time, there was no stopping it as Bruni's shot wound up in the side netting.
"We have good players, and we needed that at that time," Handy said. "We were battling. If it was 0-0 at halftime, who knows what happens."
Smith helped finish off a nice series of passes by his teammates in the 61st minute, finding Jordan Hall (So, Manchester, England/Royton and Crompton) for his seventh of the season.
Handy wasn't aware of the streak until this week. He tipped his hat to the Wildcats (3-1, 1-1) for their organization and hard work, but is more focused on what his players are doing.
"It just kind of shows the pursuit of being perfect at all time can do, and never really settling for whatever the score says," Handy said. "We just have to trust that process that says if you do the right things day in and day, good things will happen."
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