by Jules Gonsoulin
On a rainy Saturday night, shortly after the homecoming football game, the Millsaps men’s soccer team easily defeated Hendrix College 6-2 to open its campaign in the Southern Athletic Association playoffs.
The Majors continued to rely on standout sophomore Alex Bourland, who garnered SAA recognition recently as SAA Offensive Player of the Week. Bourland got the offense going early with an unassisted goal two minutes into the game.
Hendrix came back with a flurry of shots early in the game to try to score the equalizer, but goaltender Jonathan Huebbe made plenty of key saves early and often to keep the Majors in the driver’s seat. Huebbe recorded four saves in 68 total minutes of playing time. Senior backup goaltender Charlie Edwards replaced Huebbe for the final 23 minutes and recorded two saves of his own.
The Majors’ offense kept up an unrelenting effort throughout the game. Bourland’s strong showing was coupled with impressive goals from Nico Roth, Taylor Hayes, Matt Crooker and Lukas Elmhammar, who punched in a penalty kick goal in the 48th minute.
The Majors led 6-0 for 84 minutes, until Oscar Stjernquist and Dalton Clement of Hendrix scored back-to-back goals within a minute of each other to finally get the Warriors on the board. However, Hendrix’ mild success late in the game was quickly drowned out by the excitement of the crowded Millsaps student section, as the Majors closed out their first game of the playoffs with a win
Around the SAA, top-seeded Oglethorpe was shocked Saturday night by the eighth-seeded Sewanee Tigers. Other notable upsets from the first round of tournament play included Centre outlasting Berry in overtime penalty kicks, as well as Rhodes besting Birmingham Southern, also in penalty kicks.
The Majors will return to action on Friday, Nov. 6th, to take on Centre. Millsaps College will host the SAA championship game, and the winner of the tournament will go on to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.