Wade Steinlage, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
Canton, Mo. – A trio of early goals helped the Statesmen men’s soccer team to a 3-1 Heart of America Athletic Conference win over Culver-Stockton Wednesday and left the door open for a possible league title celebration come this weekend.
Playing as a ranked program for the first time ever, No. 18 WPU (14-3, 8-2 Heart) showed early on why it is deserving of it. Or maybe it should be said that Kenedy Deviska (Fr., Haiti, Wellness and Recreation) did that as he scored three times in the opening 18 minutes of action.
The freshman first put away a long throw-in by Donny Mesina (Jr., Inglewood, Calif., Sports Management) at the 10:22 mark. Just 14 seconds later, Deviska scored unassisted, and then 7:10 down the road, he completed his hat trick.
The hat trick is the second of the season for William Penn with the other occurring just eight days ago. Deviska now has six goals this fall.
The Wildcats (9-7-1, 3-7 Heart) did not roll over in the second half, breaking through in the 48th minute, but despite owning a 7-3 tally in second-half shots (10-9 overall), the hosts were kept quiet the rest of the way. Defending NAIA Defensive Player of the Week Austin Munoz (Jr., Harrisville, Utah, Sports Management) and his teammates made sure of that; Munoz managed three saves in the victory.
William Penn’s 8-2 record in the league is impressive, but unfortunately the top of the Heart standings is crowded with top-notch talent. Saturday’s league contests pack quite a punch of intrigue as the regular season title is still up for grabs.
A WPU win over No. 13 Baker (4:30 p.m. start) at home on Saturday, coupled with a loss by Central Methodist, would give the Statesmen their first league title in school history. However, a loss by the navy and gold, coupled by wins by other squads, and the Statesmen could be outside of the top four and forced to hit the road for the Heart Tournament Quarterfinals. Simply said, much is still to be determined in the league race.
“This was a good road win as Culver-Stockton has become a local rivalry and always play us tough,” Head Coach Jaymee Highcock said. “We were fortunate to score early and then managed to control the game the rest of the way. We kept our momentum and now look forward to executing a solid game plan against Baker.”