Patriots redeem themselves against Flagler

The FMU men’s soccer team wiped out Flagler College 2-0 on Oct. 12 in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) game.

The men’s soccer team is now ranked 6-2-1 overall and 1-1-0 in the PBC.

Senior midfielder Travis Cooke was unstoppable as he made his way to the goal, scoring twice in the second half with the Flagler defense on his tracks.

“Whenever I see the ball in the final third I get, like, this lightbulb in my head and I’m like, ‘I’ve got to go,’ and, ‘I’ve got to sprint,” Cooke said. “The thought of celebrating after a goal is what makes me hungry for more and more goals every time.”

Head Coach Luis Rincon made a couple of key position swaps during the game.

Sophomore Magnus Hoejland usually plays defense but played striker instead and Cooke played center-mid, right-wing and forward.

Although he had to play completely different positions, Cooke stepped up to the plate and came through for his team.

“My team supported me a lot tonight with my position swap, which made the transition easier for me because there was always someone open on my team I could pass the ball,” Hoejland said.

The switch for Cooke was a strategic swap that he believes led to the win.

“The way coach swaps us is really tactical,” Cooke said. “He likes to slide me in more defensive goals when we are a couple of goals up to seal off the game and if it’s tied he likes to have me up top to use my pace to create more opportunities for shots.”

The team played aggressive defense and stayed consistent on offense the whole game, giving them multiple goal attempts.

Junior goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco brought in two saves for the game and sophomore midfielder Jafet Santiago had two outstanding assists.

For both teams, the first half started out rough as the Patriots settled into their new positions for the night’s game.

“We played a little bit different tonight, but everyone just came together and put 110 percent effort in tonight so we could pull off the win,” Rocco said.

With motivation from the coach and the team hungry for a win, the Patriots didn’t let the mistakes of the first half follow them into the second half.

“We were all a little disappointed with our performance in the first half,” Cooke said. “When we went into the locker room during half time, coach really got onto us so we came back out flying with a lot of desire and that’s what helped us win the game tonight.”

The Patriots lost against Flagler when they played against them earlier in the season, but they but refused to let that happen again.

“Tonight’s win was a crucial win for our team,” Rocco said.

The audience roared and fueled the soccer team each time they bulldozed through Flagler’s defense and scored.

“We went out as a team and we put everything into this win because we knew we had it in us,” Rocco said.

The FMU men’s soccer team’s next home game will be on Oct. 21 at 6:00 p.m. against Shaw University, where they will also be honoring graduating athletes.