ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – It took Florida Southern less a minute to score its first goal Tuesday night in a non-conference match at Flagler College, but a little bit longer to score its second and third. A little, but not by much. James Meehan scored first and seventh-minute goals, and Pablo Gallo Arias scored in the 12th minute to send the 9th-ranked Moccasins on their way to a 3-0 win at Flagler.
The win pushed the Moccasins' record to 8-0 just hours after they had earned the highest national ranking in team history. Only once before have they ever started a season 8-0, with the 1997 team the first to do that. Their eight-game winning streak equals the second longest in the program's 62-year history, something the Mocs also did in 1971 over the final eight games of the regular season. The school record of nine straight wins spanning 1996-97 is now one game away.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Florida Southern scored its three early goals on its first three shots, a quick start that buried the Saints (2-5) before they barely had time to mount a single attack of their own. The first two goals came before the Saints even had possession in a spot where a shot could be taken, which did not happen until a little over 15 minutes into the match.
- Meehan's first goal officially came 44 seconds into the match, only the ninth time in their long history the Moccasins have had a goal in the first minute. Center back Daniel Moore initiated the scoring play in the back, sending the ball forward down the left sideline where Christoph Gums kept it in play. Julian Jordan-Canosa collected the ball a little further downfield and split the defense with a pass to Meehan, who went straight to goal and slotted a shot between goalkeeper Mel Broughton and the far post.
- Less than six minutes later, Meehan embraced the net for a second time. Receiving a long ball played by Gums, Meehan's shot from the right side of the penalty box was first deflected by Broughton, before bouncing off the inside of the far post. A brief meeting between the center referee and his assistant on the line preceded the declaration of a goal, and the Mocs were up 2-0. The two goals give Meehan a team-high seven on the season.
- Still before Flagler had attempted its first shot, Florida Southern scored its third goal of the night with Arias on the receiving end of a pass from Meehan coming out of the right corner. It was goal number two for Arias this season.
- Fifteen minutes into the game, Flagler had its first scoring chance but wasted a corner kick by putting it over the bar. The Saints did close the gap in shots by halftime, eventually taking four to Florida Southern's six, but none were especially vexing. Benny Yusufoglu had to make only one save in the first 45 minutes, and it turned out to be his only one of the game on a night where the Mocs allowed only six.
- Broughton had to work hard for Flagler though. The junior had a career-high nine saves while facing 15 shots, one of which came on a penalty kick taken by Eneko Lasheras with 3:27 remaining. That came after Broughton himself was shown yellow for taking down Arias in the box. Moments before that he had stopped another shot by Lasheras, and made two in quick succession against Arias in the 82nd minute. Broughton also faced down Anton Lindbom at close range in the 56th minute for another difficult save.
- The Moccasins ended up with a 15-6 advantage in total shots, and were up 12-1 in shots on goal.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern has out-scored its first eight opponents this season 25-2, similar to the 22-2 margin the 1997 team had in its 8-0 start. That team also had six shutouts in its first eight games just as this one has. In 1971, when the Moccasins won their final eight games of the regular season, they out-scored those teams 33-12 with shutouts of Central Florida and Rollins.
- Florida Southern can now equal the overall school record of nine consecutive wins on Saturday at Tampa. That record was first achieved over two seasons when the Mocs won their season finale in 1996 over Eckerd and started 1997 with eight consecutive wins. It ended with a 1-1 tie at Queens (NC) that still gave them a 10-game unbeaten streak, one of only two times they have ever gone 10 straight games without a loss, and the most recent.
- The Moccasins recorded their sixth shutout of the season, something they have done only twice previously. They had seven in 2002, and a school-record 11 in 1997. Yusufoglu's six individual shutouts now give him sole possession of second place on that list, five behind record-holder Cliff Dixon from the '97 team. The Moccasins have now gone 15 consecutive games without allowing more than one goal.
- The Mocs again started a back line of Moore, Foster Appiah, Jake Starling, and Claus Lehland, though Nick Atwood, Mason Comer and Henry Phillips saw a great deal of time in those positions as well. They helped drop the team goals against average to 0.248, which is second in the country to the University of Indianapolis. The Greyhounds are at 0.242 and play their next match on Friday at Lewis University.
- Florida Southern has allowed less than 10 shots six times this season.
- Gums now has a point in six straight games, tying the second-longest streak in team history. Alan Grossman (1972-73), Asa Pepia (twice, in 2004 and 2005) and Patrick Dandanell (2005) also had six-game point streaks. The school record is 10 in a row, set by Zach Hofstetter from 2009-10.
- Meehan had his third brace of the season and his fourth game-winning goal. The last Moccasin with more multi-goal games in a season was Hofstetter with five in 2011, a year that saw him lead the nation in goals per game. Only four players have had more game-winners than Meehan, with Tim Cooper holding the record of six set in 1997.
- Meehan's goal 44 seconds into the match was the sixth fastest in team history, but still well short of the record. Nick Koumantzelis needed just 15 seconds to score against Eckerd on October 25, 1977, a game the Mocs eventually lost 4-3. The last player with a first-minute goal for the Mocs was Viktor Bakkioui in 2010, 43 seconds into a 2-1 double-overtime win versus Palm Beach Atlantic.
- Florida Southern won in St. Augustine for the first time after going 0-8-1 in its nine previous trips to Flagler. The tie came in 2007. The Moccasins are 6-5 against Flagler in Lakeland.
Florida Southern returns to conference play on Saturday with a 7 p.m. match at the University of Tampa.