PORTSMOUTH — In soccer, balanced attacks usually make for the best attacks — more often than not.
The Shawnee State University men’s soccer squad certainly showcased its ability in that area on Tuesday evening, with the Bears scoring four goals over the first 47 minutes of game time — en route to cruising to a 5-0 victory over visiting Bluefield (Va.) in a non-conference contest.
Throughout much of the match, Shawnee State dominated the proceedings, notching a massive 23-7 advantage in shots — while putting an impressive 16 of those 23 blasts on frame.
SSU also notched an 8-6 advantage in corner kicks, and committed 11 fouls to Bluefield’s 13.
de Lange breaks
all-time points record
Heading the offensive attack once again with his game-changing abilities in both burst and touch, Kevin de Lange continued to build on an all-time great career — by breaking a tie with SSU Hall of Famer Jeff Suter for the most points in program history.
de Lange — who found Bobo Kikonda to start the scoring in the 17th minute — added a goal of his own just two minutes into the second half, boosting his season totals to four goals and an assist just three games in.
de Lange now has 47 goals and 20 assists, totaling 114 points for his illustrious Shawnee State career.
Toledo gets involved in
Along with de Lange’s outburst, fellow front line demon Joao Toledo had a strong contest of his own.
After scoring off a free kick pass from Thomas de Graauw in the 33rd minute, Toledo then contributed his own free kick pass that led directly to a goal — with Nathan Ewing serving as the beneficiary in the first half’s closing seconds, and giving Shawnee State a commanding 3-0 halftime advantage.
Toledo now has 12 goals and 11 assists en route to 35 points on his own career line — after notching his first goal and first assist of the year.
Kikonda, Ewing, van den Bergh
continue steady play
While de Lange and Toledo certainly continued to provide excellent offensive firepower for Shawnee State, the trio of Kikonda, Ewing and Thierry van den Bergh were each critical to the Bears’ smooth operation on Tuesday.
Kikonda — who started the scoring off de Lange’s feed in the 17th minute — used his length to find open creases in the Bluefield defense for much of the evening, while Ewing’s 44th-minute goal and van den Bergh’s 81st-minute blast told only part of the story for that duo.
Both players were arguably as effective, if not more so, on the defensive end of the pitch with their aggressiveness and heady play.
Shawnee State’s men (2-1) will now play Trinity Christian College (1-1) in a Labor Day doubleheader at Shawnee Turf, which will also feature the SSU women’s program.
The women begin the two-match afternoon with a 1 p.m. kickoff, followed by the men at 3 p.m.
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