FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University rallied from an early three-goal deficit against the nation’s seventh-ranked team to tie the match at halftime, but a hat-trick by Young Harris College senior Khurram Shazad proved too much to overcome as the Patriots fell to the Mountain Lions 6-3, Saturday evening (Oct. 11) in Peach Belt Conference men’s soccer action.
Francis Marion (6-3-2, 1-2-2) losses its second straight home match, while Young Harris remains unbeaten at 8-0-1 and 4-0-0. The Patriots upset the Mountain Lions, then ranked No.1, in last year’s PBC Tournament semifinals.
FMU will return to action next Saturday (Oct. 18) at 5 p.m. when the Patriots play host to Clayton State University.
The Mountain Lions came into the match have outscored their previous seven opponents 29-5. They wasted no time in improving on that total, scoring three times in the opening 12 minutes on Saturday. However, a short-handed FMU squad gamely responded with three scores of its own to forge a 3-3 deadlock at intermission.
Young Harris took a 1-0 lead when Lewis Hilton scored on his own corner kick at the 1:55 mark. The Peach Belt’s top scorer Ilija Ilic tapped in a service from Craig Quinn in the fifth minute and Shazad tallied the first of his goals off an assist from Hilton in the 12 minute.
The FMU comeback began when freshman Jayden Doyle scored on a bending free kick from 20 yards out at the 18:56 mark. Tom Gillette and Ryan Kolenda combined on passes that led to a goal by junior Sven Ricke at the 22:01 mark. Ricke dribbled past Young Harris goalkeeper Jordan Bradshaw and scored from a tight right angle.
The equalizing score for FMU was also the product of a nice passing sequence. Thomas Kues began the play with a nifty move in the midfield, passed to Shahin Hemat, who then fed a streaking Ricke who beat Bradshaw to his right with a 12-yard shot.
Patriot sophomore goalkeeper Mike Warn kept the match tied when he stopped a quick turn-and-shoot effort by Ilic at the near post with two minutes left in the opening stanza.
The match remained knotted at 3-3 through the opening 20 minutes of the second half. Shazad scored the match-winner at the 65:19 mark on a long looping blast from the far left side. The sequence began with a long throw-in by Jonas Sturesson that was flicked on by Ilic.
Kendall Carballo tallied a goal at 69:01 and Shazad completed the scoring with his third tally in the 88th minute.
Illic finished with a goal and three assists, in addition to Shazad’s six-point effort.
Young Harris outshot the Patriots 13-7, although FMU held a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks. After the high-scoring first half, FMU was held without a shot over the final 45 minutes.
Both Warn and Bradshaw finished with two saves apiece.
#7 Young Harris College (8-0-1 , 4-0-0 PBC) def. Francis Marion Univ. (6-3-2 , 1-2-2 PBC) 6-3 Date: Oct 11, 2014 Attendance: 127 Weather: 86 degrees, Partly sunny, Winds W @ 8 mph
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Shots: Young Harris College 13, Francis Marion Univ. 7 ; Saves: Young Harris College 2 (Jordan Bradshaw 2), Francis Marion Univ. 2 (Mike Warn 2)