Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — A clash of Southeast Conference titans didn’t go Fairfield’s way on Monday night at Dexter Soccer Complex. The 15th-ranked Trojans were downed by No. 12 Fort Madison, 3-1, as the Bloodhounds continued to close in on an SEC title.
The Trojans saw a handful of chances early, but it was Fort Madison that found the first goal. Jacob Pothitakis scored in the first 10 minutes to give the Bloodhounds a 1-0 lead.
Shortly after the opening goal, Fairfield’s Xavier Kapijimpanga had a shot to tie it after slipping past a couple of Bloodhound defenders. The shot was kicked away by the Fort Madison keeper.
The Bloodhounds added one more midway through the first half. This time it was Mitchell Pothitakis, who scored on one of two Bloodhound penalty kicks in the first period.
“We gave away two penalties. That's exactly how we lost in Fort Madison,” said Fairfield coach Felisto Guezimane, referencing an earlier 2-1 loss to the Bloodhounds.
Mitchell Pothitakis had one more, scoring on a direct kick in the second half to give Fort Madison a commanding 3-0 lead.
Fairfield finally broke through in the second half. Eli Moore dashed down the left side of the field and turned the corner on the Bloodhound defense before popping the ball over the keeper’s head and into the top-right corner of the goal.
Fairfield began to pile up chances late in the second half, but the Trojans could never score again.
“We have to play hard for 80 minutes instead of just picking and choosing when we play hard, and when we switch on,” Guezimane said.
Kyle Schubick was in net once again for the Trojans. He had a busy night and made a variety of tough saves, including fending off a Bloodhound penalty kick when the Trojans were still down 1-0.
Fairfield is now 6-3 overall and 5-3 in conference play. They have a big road game on Thursday when they travel to Washington (7-3, 6-2).
Fort Madison (9-1, 7-0) clinched at least a share of the SEC title with two games to go. Washington would need to win out and have the Bloodhounds lose out in order to get a piece of the title.