MONTGOMERY, Ala. ----- The No. 5 Auburn University at Montgomery men's soccer team closed out its regular season with a 3-0 victory over local rival Faulkner Saturday at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex.
With the win, the Warhawks (13-3-2, 8-2-1 SSAC) will now be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Southern States Athletic Conference tournament after their head-to-head victory over Southern Wesleyan earlier this season. The win also marked the final regular-season home match for three seniors, Bosko Kovacevic, Matias Aristegui and Angel Gonzalez, who were recognized prior to the match.
"It is always nice to beat your local rival," head coach Wulf Koch said. "More importantly the win earned us three points in the conference standings and seemed to get us back on track in time for the playoffs.
The Warhawks took the lead for good when freshman Sebastian Wladyko scored on a free kick from the top of the box at the 23:11 mark of the match.
"What a great free kick" Koch said of Wladyko goal. "He was out every day last week before and after practice, working on free kicks. Tonight was a result of that hard work."
AUM added a second goal in the opening half, as fellow freshman Agust Arnarson matched the team lead with his ninth goal of the season. On the goal, junior Vitor Silva slid a pass to Arnarson on the right side of the goal and the Kopavogur, Iceland, native slammed his shot past Faulkner goalkeeper Pritchard Ndaira into the left side of the net.
Leading by two at halftime, 2-0, the Warhawks sealed the victory when junior Cesar Kestring scored for the second time this season, with sophomore Elvar Sigurdsson assisting.
For the match, AUM outshot the Eagles, 19-8, with Arnarson tallying a match-high six shots. Kestring added five shots, while Sigurdsson chipped in three.
In goal, Kovacevic was flawless, posting three saves for his first career shutout.
"What a great way for him to end the regular season," Koch said of Kovacevic. "For him to get a shutout on Senior Night was really special."
AUM will await its opponent for the opening round of the SSAC Tournament. As a result of their seeding, the Warhawks will host the contest on Saturday, November 3. Time has yet to be determined.