The Oakes Training Center, Oak Grove, Miss. – The Stars U-19 team completed a three-game winning series over Port City U-19 with a 3-0 road victory at PRCC in Poplarville last night. Coach Carl Reynolds’ team finished the season 8-1 and on top of the pile during the spring NPSL U-19 pilot season.
The Stars took a single goal lead into the break on a Papi Diouf penalty-kick as the Gulfport-based Port City fought hard to control the visitor’s offense. This was the third meeting between the two sides with the Stars having picked off the other two games winning 4-0 and 6-0. In the previous games, the Stars had taken early leads but on this occasion, Port City managed to stave off the Stars until the conceding of that 40th-minute penalty kick.
The second half was the most even of the three games. Port City managed more shots and worked Stars ‘keeper Ethan Crump more than in the other three games combined. The youngster was equal to all that Port City could muster and he prevailed in protecting his net and taking the third shut-out against Port City.
Finding it hard to score and committed to attacking it was somewhat inevitable that the Stars would find more goals as the game moved into its final minutes. Attila Sepkin fired home a superb blockbuster of a shot for the Stars second, and Diouf tapped home a close-range third just minutes from time after a swift Stars counter-attack.
Port City could take some measure of comfort in that the game was far more competitive than the previous two but all the same, the Stars were once again the better team as the result indicates.
It has been a fine season for the young Stars with just the one loss in nine games preventing the team from grabbing a 100% record.
Image: Papi Diouf in action against Port City at PRCC in Poplarville