Crimson Pride shut out shorthanded Fisk

Jon Michael Bright

IU Columbus had a huge advantage Sunday night when Fisk University showed up with only nine players for their men’s soccer match at Wigh Soccer Complex.

Fisk, which is from Nashville, Tennessee, had 14 players at a Saturday practice in Columbus, but between that time and the game, lost five players for undisclosed reasons. IUC capitalized on the two-man advantage with two goals in the first half and five in the second in posting a 7-0 victory.

“I think the guys just aren’t used to having that much time and space in a game and were shellshocked a little bit,” IUC coach Kevin Nolan said. “But we sorted it out. We got into them at halftime, and they came out a little more fired up to go.”

The Crimson Pride (4-2) outshot the Bulldogs (0-4-1) 53-1. Jacob Kasarda posted the lone save for the Crimson Pride in the games opening minutes.

IUC got on the board in the seventh minute when Jon Michael Bright scored off an assist from Aywan Ishaq. The game stayed 1-0 until Angel Roque connected in the 44th minute.

Bright made it 3-0 with a goal off an assist from Kevin Cruz in the 50th minute. Then after a Fisk player was issued a red card, leaving the Bulldogs with eight players, Bright completed the hat trick with a goal in the 60th minute.

“We started really slow, 2-0 at halftime,” said Bright, a senior from Blue Ridge, South Carolina. “We were really thinking we deserved more, so being able to come back out the second half and really set the tone early felt great.”

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro “Pollo” Alvarez converted a penalty kick in the 65th minute to make it 5-0. Cung Mang scored in the 86th minute, and Joseph Lian added the final goal in the 90th and final minute.

“It felt good to be part of the scoreboard and mostly just to be part of the team,” said Alvarez, a freshman from Columbus North. “It was good to get a big win, especially with (several players) scoring.

“We did what we had to do and came out here and handled business,” he added. “It gives us confidence. Conference is coming up, so we’re getting prepared mentally and physically.”

The Crimson Pride begin River States Conference play on Thursday at Ohio Christian. IUC then visits West Virginia Tech on Saturday before returning home to play Oakland City on Sept. 28 and Shawnee State on Sept. 30.

“It was a good game for us to get going and work on some things because we start conference coming up this week,” Nolan said. “It was good to work out all the kinks and get a little bit of confidence going for us. I think today was a good sign. We still have a lot of work to do to get us where we need to be, but I’m sure we have enough in the tank to get us going.”