FLORENCE, SC – Junior midfielder Michael Eibl scored once in each half to carry Francis Marion University to a 2-0 non-conference victory over the University of Mount Olive, Thursday night (Sept. 25) in men’s soccer action.
The match, the entirety of which was played through a light rain, was originally slated for Mount Olive’s home field, but switched to FMU due to recent heavy precipitation in eastern North Carolina.
Francis Marion improves to 5-1-0 and will embark on a three-match road swing beginning on Saturday with a 4 p.m. match at defending Peach Belt Conference Tournament champion University of Montevallo. The six-match start is the best for the Patriot program in 11 seasons dating back to a 5-1-0 start in 2003.
The Trojans fall to 2-3-2 and 1-1-1 in three matches against PBC opponents this season.
Eibl played along the FMU defensive backline in 2013, but moved into the midfield this season. His scores were the first of his two-year Patriot career.
His first tally came off a loose ball near the top of the Mount Olive penalty area. His 17-yard shot ended up in the left-side netting of the Trojan goal at the 38:32 mark. To that point, Francis Marion had managed only two shots, only one of which had been on frame.
Eibl, a native of Buchelberg, Germany, doubled the FMU advantage only 4:45 into the second stanza. He took a lay-off from graduate student Benjamin Kwast at the top of the 18-yard box and his one-time shot gabbed the upper right-corner netting of the UMO goal.
Patriot junior midfielder Sven Ricke nearly added to the FMU scoring sheet in the 86th minute, but point-blank shot from 12 yards in front of the goal was denied by the feet of a diving Adam Lawrence, the back-up Mount Olive goalkeeper.
Francis Marion outshot Mount Olive 13-11, although the Trojans registered the opening four attempts and held FMU without a shot for the first 24 minutes. Mount Olive owned a slight edge in corner kicks 5-4.
FMU sophomore goalkeeper Mike Warn made two saves, while Trojan starter Nick Bernsdorf registered two saves in the first half and Lawrence six stops in the second half. Warn’s best work came in the 31st minute with the match still scoreless, as he dove to his right to push Cooper Gaypia’s bending shot outside the left post for a corner kick.
The shutout was Warn’s fourth in eight career appearances.
Francis Marion Univ. (5-1-0) def. Univ. of Mount Olive (2-3-2) 2-0 Date: Sep 25, 2014 Attendance: 53 Weather: Overcast, Misting, 70, Winds NNE @ 8 mph
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Shots: Univ. of Mount Olive 11, Francis Marion Univ. 13 ; Saves: Univ. of Mount Olive 8 (Adam Lawrence 6; Nick Bernsdorf 2), Francis Marion Univ. 2 (Mike Warn 2)