By Matt Green
CLEVELAND, Miss. -- Shorter's Ryan Mcgouirk gave his visiting Hawks an early lead with a strike in the 20th minute, but host Delta State took advantage of a red card later issued to Shorter, getting a hat trick from striker Caue DaSilva en route a 3-1 victory in a Gulf South Conference men's soccer matchup in Cleveland, Miss., on Friday evening.
The Hawks dropped their third straight match and fall to 1-3-1 overall and 0-1 in the Gulf South Conference after falling in their GSC debut. Delta State (4-1, 1-0), ranked No. 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) South Region rankings, captured its fourth straight win, but had to fend off a pesky Shorter squad to get its first league win.
Shorter, which has held a lead in two of its three losses -- Shorter led Carson-Newman 1-0 last Friday before suffering a 2-1 defeat -- couldn't hang on against the Statesmen while playing the majority of the match down a man.
Mcgouirk got the start for Shorter and made the most of the opportunity, finishing off a delivery from Diego Gonazlez for a 1-0 Shorter advantage just 19:29 into the match.
But Kyle Stonecipher, starting on defense for a Hawks' squad that lost starting defender Sean Malloy to an injury last weekend, picked up his second yellow card less than a minute later, relegating the Hawks to 10 men against one of the Gulf South Conference's premier programs.
Delta State finally took advantage two minutes before halftime on Caue DaSilva's fifth goal of the young season, tying the match at 1 heading into the halftime locker room.
DaSilva netted his final two tallies in a 42-second span early in the second half to seal Shorter's fate. His breakaway 4:50 into the second half put the Statesmen up for the first time at 2-1 and his give and go with Amine Rahmani in the 51st minute staked the hosts a 3-1 edge.
Shorter managed five shots the rest of the way -- two on target -- but none were able to beat Delta State keeper Milos Boskovic as the Statesmen avoided a scare from their newest conference rival.
Delta State held a 21-10 advantage in shots on the day. The shot total was even at 4-4 before Stonecipher was sent off in the first half. Mcgouirk led Shorter with five shots and Irvin Espinal, Shorter's leading scorer, fired two.
The Hawks will take a day off before continuing their western GSC swing against Christian Brothers in Memphis, Tenn., on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm ET.