AIKEN, SC -- Francis Marion University and USC Aiken carried a scoreless Peach Belt Conference men’s soccer match into overtime Wednesday night in Aiken, SC., but the Patriots embraced the extra period and eventually capped the evening with an incredible goal by Benjamin Kwast in the 98th minute to win the match 1-0.
FMU (8-3-2, 3-2-2 PBC) will be in action next when it finishes out the season with a three-match home stand, beginning on Saturday (Oct. 25) at 7 p.m. against PBC foe Georgia Southwestern State University. Members of the Florence Soccer Association wearing a jersey will be admitted for free as it will be FSA Night at Hartzler Field. Regular admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
For the Patriots and junior goalkeeper Mike Warn, this marks the sixth shutout of the season. Warn is now posting an impressive 1.17 goals against average, and much of the credit is due to the FMU defense as a unit. Despite the Pacers (10-3-1, 4-2-0) getting off 13 shots, Warn was only called on to make one save on the night.
The Patriots were outshot 12-9 overall, but managed to put three more shots on goals than the Pacers.
FMU pushed for a late goal in regulation, getting off two shots and two corner kicks in the final nine minutes. A Sven Ricke corner kick with just nine seconds remaining was unable to put the Patriots on the score sheet and the teams headed to overtime.
With just a little more than two minutes remaining in the first overtime period, Kwast took a bold shot from nearly 40 yards out and miraculously struck for the game winner. Kwast's shot took a short hop and squeaked underneath the arms of Pacer goalkeeper Joshua Poissant to end the match. The goal is Kwast's fourth of the season and marks his second consecutive match with a goal scored.
Kwast led Francis Marion with three shots, while Shahin Hemat registered a pair. With the win, FMU climbs into fourth place in the PBC standings.
Each of the past 14 meetings between Francis Marion and USCA have been a one-goal decision or ended in a tie, with eight of the contests going to overtime.
Francis Marion Univ. 8-3-2 (3-2-2 PBC) def. USC Aiken 10-3-1 (4-2-0 PBC) 1-0 OT Date: Oct 22, 2014 Attendance: 237 Weather: Sunny, 83
Goals by period 1 2 OT Tot
Shots: Francis Marion Univ. 9, USC Aiken 12 ; Saves: Francis Marion Univ. 1 (Mike Warn 1), USC Aiken 3 (Joshua Poissant 3)