POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College made bold statements in its women''s and men''s 2009 season-opening soccer battles against Holmes here Wednesday.The defending MACJC state champ Lady Wildcats took a lopsided 8-2 victory over the Lady Bulldogs, while the Wildcats won 4-1 over a scrappy HCC squad.Lady Wildcat freshman Ashlee Arnau of Oak Grove and Wildcat sophomore Tyler Szura of Forrest County AHS – both midfielders – scored three goals each in their respective teams'' victories.”I think both our teams played impressively,” said second-year women''s and men''s head coach Jack Byrd. “Come late October, we should be in the thick of the state championship race.”Arnau scored her first collegiate goal at the 38:34 mark of the first half to put PRCC''s women up 1-0, while redshirt freshman Brittany Griffis of Presbyterian Christian added another goal off a penalty kick with 23:55 left in the half.At the seven-minute mark, freshman Chelsea Smith of Tupelo made it 3-0 before Arnau scored her second goal three minutes later. Freshman Jordan Organ of Forrest County AHS kicked her first of two goals on the afternoon with 2:05 left to give the Lady Wildcats a commanding 5-0 lead at the intermission.That score remained intact for the first 12:30 of the second half, but Arnau boomed one in to make 6-0 and Organ followed with her final goal at the 21:58 mark.Holmes'' Vanessa Gaytan scored back-to-back goals – one a penalty kick – in less than a minute for the Lady Bulldogs'' two scores, while sophomore Santana Adams of East Central High added The River''s final goal of the game with 5:57 left.PRCC improved to 1-0, while HCC dropped to 0-2.In the men''s game, the Wildcats jumped out to a solid 3-0 lead at the break, while the two teams battled to a 1-1 stalemate in the second half.Szura wasted no time getting Pearl River on the board with his first goal just over a minute into the contest, then added a second score at the 28:29 mark. Sophomore Jamarius Gray of Hattiesburg High made it 3-0 PRCC with a goal in the final minute of the half.Holmes'' Ulysses Vazquez scored the Bulldogs only goal at the 32:17 mark of the second half, while Szura''s third score came at the 8:57 mark.The River returns to action Friday with a women''s and men''s twin bill (5 p.m. and 7 p.m.) in Poplarville, then the Lady Wildcats host Polk State (Fla.) in a women''s only contest at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Wildcats host the Delta State JV in a men''s only game Tuesday at 3 p.m.
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