HANNIBAL — Hannibal hung on to defeat conference foe Fulton 3-2 in a rain-soaked boys soccer game at Veterans Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Hannibal now sits in first place in the North Central Missouri Conference with a 6-2 conference record, 10-4 overall, after defeating Fulton for the second time this season, both by a score of 3-2.
“All of these games we’ve been playing in conference with the exception of Kirksville have been one goal games,” Pirates coach Eric Hill said. “Each one of these wins we get is big in preparing us for the postseason. Not only that, but the next game on the schedule.”
A thunderstorm caused a 45-minute delay with 4:42 remaining in the second half as the Pirates held a 3-2 lead. Fulton came out firing once play resumed, but Hannibal held on to win.
“I thought our guys played well and was able to close it out,” Hill said. “Fulton was putting a lot of pressure on. I thought our defense and our forwards coming back to defend did a nice job.”
Junior defenseman Kolin Westhoff scored the first goal for the Pirates with an assist from midfielder Tristen Terrill.
Hannibal took a 2-0 lead later in the first half with a goal from senior forward Trevauhn Jenkins.
Fulton’s Jayden Ayers cut Hannibal’s lead to 2-1 with a goal off a rebound, but the Pirates responded with a goal from Tristen Terrill, assisted by sophomore midfielder Drew Porter.
Fulton managed one more goal later in the second half off the foot of Alban Dervishi.
“Our goalkeeper Parker (Terrill) was coming out of the box to play the ball,” Hill said. “The ball kind of caught him up by his chest, instead of down where he was anticipating the ball to be. (Dervishi) ended up getting a shot on it as he recovered and the shot was too much.”
There was rain throughout the game and Hill said it made it made ballhandling tricky, but his team made necessary adjustments.
“I think other than those two breakdowns, they played well,” Hill said. “There were some scrambles back in the box. I think they did a nice job of getting cleaned up and cleared out. They did a nice job of snuffing out Fulton’s attacks before they got too dangerous.”
Hannibal has two more games this week, both at home. The Pirates will play Warrenton on Thursday and Marshall on Saturday.
“Tomorrow, we are going to go light,” Hill said. “We are not going to over-work ourselves this week. We are just going to get some touches, do a little bit of possession and some basic stuff we do at practice so that the guys have their legs.”