FLORENCE, SC – Junior Michael Eibl scored on a six-yard shot that glanced off the left post with 1:57 remaining to lift Francis Marion University to a 1-0 victory over Lander University, Saturday night (Nov. 1) in Peach Belt Conference men’s soccer action.
Francis Marion ends its regular season with an 11-3-2 overall mark and a 5-2-2 PBC record. The Patriots will enter next week’s conference tournament as the third seed and will host a quarterfinal match on Tuesday evening.
FMU sophomore goalkeeper Mike Warn registered two saves en route to his eighth shutout of the season tying the Patriot single-season record set by Mike Frazee in 2000.
The victory also means that FMU head coach John Campbell has upped the team’s win total each of his three seasons in Florence: from 4 to 5 in his first season, then to 10, and now to 11.
Eibl broke the scoreless deadlock in the 89th minute when he settled a cross from sophomore Shahin Hemat just outside the goalie box and scored off the left post. Sophomore defender Peter Beniseau began the sequence with a long service from midfield that found Hemat just outside the penalty area on the right side.
Francis Marion outshot Lander 10-6. The Bearcats held a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Lander goalkeeper Barrett Nielsen finished with six saves. The Bearcats drop to 6-6-2 overall and 2-5-2 in the conference.
Although scoreless, the first stanza did present several serious scoring opportunities. Nielsen made a spectacular diving save on a curling shot by Hemat in the 14th minute. Lander’s Luis Zuluaga was a foot high on a turn-and-shoot effort from near midfield in the 19th minute. FMU junior midfielder Pascal Magiera had a 25-yard effort from straight on that sailed inches over the crossbar at 35:05, and Nielsen made a block on a blast from Patriot forward Benjamin Kwast in the 42nd minute that then glanced off the crossbar.
In the second half, Neilsen came off his line to stonewall FMU freshman Jayden Doyle near the top of the box and then when the ball got behind the Bearcat keeper, a Lander defender beat Doyle to the ball just before its momentum carried it across the goal line.
FMU junior Sven Ricke sent a near-perfect cross through the six-yard box in the 69th minute that no player from either squad – Patriot forward or Bearcat defender – was able to get a touch on. A beautiful build up by the Patriots led to a Kwast header from four yards out that found its way over the crossbar at the 77:44 mark.
Warn made his two stops in the 24th and 71st minutes.
Francis Marion Univ. (11-3-2, 5-2-2 PBC) def. Lander University (6-6-2 , 2-5-2 PBC) 1-0
Date: Nov 01, 2014 Attendance: 50
Weather: Overcast, 48 degrees, Winds: N @ 25 mph
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Lander University... 0 0 - 0
Francis Marion Univ. 0 1 - 1
1-0. 88:03 FMU Michael Eibl (3) (Shahin Hemat;Peter Beniseau) - Shot from 6 yards off left post and in
Shots: Lander University 6, Francis Marion Univ. 10 ; Saves: Lander University 6 (Barrett Nielsen 6), Francis Marion Univ. 2 (Mike Warn 2)