Argos get first win of season days before conference play
By Jay Phillips
Pensacola, Florida – West Florida routed the Saint Leo Lions 4-0 at the UWF soccer complex on Sunday, giving the Argonauts their first win of the season.
Friday’s loss to Rollins only made the Argos (1-2-1) desire to win even stronger, and they would get that win with a confidence boosting 4-0 final score over Saint Leo.
“We believe that on Friday we didn’t play terribly, but we didn’t finish the chances we created, and that’s very frustrating” senior mid fielder Kameron Bethell said. “To get those goals today boosts your confidence tremendously, especially the strikers. Now we’re confident we can score and get those results, and in the future we can grind them out.”
UWF couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game, taking a 3-0 lead over Saint Leo before halftime.
The first goal came 10 minutes into the game with Bethell blasting a shot through the back of the net.
Bethell was able to score the goal after an assist from fellow midfielder, red shirt sophomore Ed Chappe, set him up. Chappe’s pass was spot on and able to lead Bethell just far enough downfield that all Bethell had to do was send in the perfect shot.
Just eight minutes later, junior forward Sean Hoffstatter scored UWF’s second goal of the night and UWF really started rolling.
UWF’s defensive played matched that of their offensive play, and never let Saint Leo get in a position to get a good shot outside of once in the first half, and sophomore goalkeeper Tanner Kukes was able to make five saves.
Elliot and Bethell both noted how important the start to both halves was, especially in the hot Florida weather. That showed itself in the aggression that UWF defended with, only allowing Saint Leo to take five total shots the entire game, compared to UWF’s 19.
UWF’s aggressive defense continued in the second half as the Argonauts dominated the mid field and Saint Leo was unable to get off a single shot throughout the half.
UWF found the back of the net for the third time in the first half as an Argonaut defender made his way to Saint Leo territory. UWF junior midfielder Marco Tomic saw that defender and gave him a shot, turning it into an assist for Tomic and a goal for redshirt senior Barrett Mills.
Although the teams switched sides of the field at halftime, nothing changed about the way they played.
Bethell, who scored the Argonaut’s first goal of the day, checked back into the game at the 60 minute mark. Just over a minute later sophomore midfielder Andrew Wentz took a shot that looked to be saved by Saint Leo’s keeper, but instead it rolled just out of his reach and gave Wentz a goal and Chappe another assist.
Overall the second half was less eventful than the first half, but UWF was able to maintain their aggressive level of play, and keep Saint Leo off of the board.
Elliot said that was a good sign, as the Argonauts didn’t get too complacent with their big halftime lead.
“We knew Saint Leo was a tough opponent that would come out, and the first ten to fifteen minutes of the half would be important,” said Argonaut coach Bill Elliot. ”We had to keep our composure and keep trying to play. I think the turning point was when we found that fourth goal. That took any momentum they were looking to gain away, and we were able to coast a little at the end.”
The Argonauts staying aggressive and getting the win in the second half was important for the team, and the win comes at a perfect time with the Argonauts welcoming Union to Pensacola for their first conference game of the season this Friday.