FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University senior midfielder Cody Farrier’s 22-yard chip shot over the Clayton State University goalkeeper lifted the Patriots to a 2-1 victory, Tuesday night (Nov. 5) in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament.
Francis Marion improves to 9-4-4 and advances to the tournament semifinals where the Patriots will face top-ranked and top-seeded Young Harris College on Friday at 5 p.m. The semifinals and finals will be played at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga.
The win was the first post-season victory at Hartzler Field (opened in 2012) and the program’s first post-season home win since 2000.
Clayton State (10-5-2) nearly took the early lead when FMU freshman goalkeeper Nick Stover picked up a ball played back to him by Patriot defender Tom Gillette. The whistle resulted in an in-direct free kick for the Lakers only eight yards in front of the Francis Marion goal. With a wall of Patriots on the goalline, Clayton State’s Adam Halliday blasted the ball at Stover, who knocked the ball away. On the ensuing loose ball, the Lakers’ Nomis Cisic tried his luck at scoring, but his attempt was turned away by a Patriot defender.
Junior Benjamin Kwast put FMU up 1-0 in the 39th minute with his first tally of the year. Senior Alex Blandin dribble down the middle of the pitch, made a step-over move, and slotted the ball out to his right where Kwast was located. Kwast’s 13-yard shot eluded Clayton State keeper Nick Punter and found the left-side netting.
Clayton State came out the aggressor in the early stages of the second stanza. Aleksi Tuominen knotted the score at 56:01 when he scored on a 25-yard free kick following a Patriot foul near the top of the 18-yard box.
However, Farrier scored the match-winner at the 65:42 mark when he intercepted a Laker clearance and his quick left-footed chip shot from outside the box caught Punter off his line. Punter did manage to get his hands on the shot, but not enough to keep the ball from finding the Laker goal.
Stover finished the evening with two saves, while Punter made one stop.
Clayton State did manage two more shots before the final horn, but Alhagi Toure was wide left on a shot from the top of the box in the 84th minute and Stover caught a short attempt from the left side by Tuominen in the 86th minute.
Clayton State outshot FMU 11-9 and the Lakers earned the only three corner kicks taken during the 90 minutes.
In other PBC Tournament quarterfinal action, Young Harris defeated the University of North Georgia 4-0, Flagler College beat UNC Pembroke 1-0, and the University of Montevallo upset Lander University 2-1 in overtime.
Francis Marion Univ. (9-4-4 4th seed) def. Clayton State Univ. (10-5-2 5th seed) 2-1 Date: Nov 05, 2013 Attendance: 113