FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University rallied from a one-goal deficit early in the second half, but after Catawba College added a second score the Patriots were unable to tally the equalizer as the Indians claimed a 2-1 season-opening win, Thursday evening (Aug. 30) in men’s soccer action.
Francis Marion will travel to Wingate University on Saturday night for a 7 p.m. kickoff. FMU was playing its first match on the brand-new Hartzler Field, its first home night contest since 1983, and its first game under the guidance of head coach John Campbell.
Catawba took a 1-0 advantage in the 13th minute when Valentin Nava corralled a failed clearance and scored on a 10-yard shot from the left side. Despite registering seven corner kicks in the opening half, FMU did not record a shot in the first 45 minutes.
In the second half, Francis Marion freshman midfielder Joergen Tesdal recovered a Catawba giveaway in the Indians’ defensive end and fed junior Alex Blandin for a 10-yard score at the 59:44 mark. It was Blandin’s 15th career goal.
Catawba scored the eventual match-winner at the 69:35 mark when Corey Faughnan headed in a quick cross just inside the 6-yard box. Both Kenny Bonilla and Matt Gallagher assisted on the score.
Francis Marion threatened to again tie the match on several occasions. Catawba nearly helped the Patriots with an own goal in the 76th minute as an Indian defender headed Tom Gillette’s free kick off the crossbar.
Patriot junior Cody Farrier found Blandin streaking down the left sideline with 22.4 seconds remaining, but Blandin well-struck attempt from 16-yards out sailed just high and over the crossbar.
Both teams registered eight shots, while Francis Marion led 12-8 in corner kicks.
FMU freshman goalkeeper Tyler King recorded one save, while junior Evan Harvey made four stops for Catawba.
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Shots: Catawba College 8, Francis Marion Univ. 8 ; Saves: Catawba College 4 (Evan Harvey 4), Francis Marion Univ. 1 (Taylor King 1)