FLORENCE, SC – Graduate student Benjamin Kwast came off the bench to score three goals and key Francis Marion University to a 4-0 blanking of Georgia Southwestern State University, Saturday night (Oct. 25) in Peach Belt Conference men’s soccer win.
Francis Marion improves to 9-3-2 overall and advances up one spot in the PBC standings to third with a 4-2-2 league mark. Georgia Southwestern falls to 3-10-2 and 1-7-1.
The Patriots will celebrate Halloween on Wednesday night as they entertain Anderson University in a non-conference tilt that will kick-off at 7 p.m.
Kwast is the second Patriot to register a hat trick this season joining freshman Julius Broman who scored three times in the season-opening victory over Newberry College. Prior to that, it had been seven seasons since an FMU player had tallied three goals in a match.
Kwast livened up a relatively uneventful first half with a goal at the 41:28 mark. He scored on a 10-yard shot from directly in front of the Hurricane goal after receiving a through-ball from junior midfielder Michael Eibl. The opening 45 minutes featured only a combined six shot attempts.
FMU grabbed total control of the match by scoring three times in a span of 6:55 early in the second stanza. Kwast doubled the advantage to 2-0 at the 62:17 mark with a 12-yard chip shot from the left side of the box. Again Eibl assisted on the score with Kwast dribbling forward, stopping, and then doubling back before deftly chipping the ball over GSW goalkeeper Garrett Blamire.
Kwast tallied his third score in the 65th minute, this one on a tap-in at the goal line of a short cross from freshman Jayden Doyle. The outburst completed a successful week for Kwast, who also scored the lone goal in Wednesday’s 1-0 overtime win at USC Aiken.
Kwast’s hat trick was the 25th in 39 seasons of Patriot soccer.
Junior Pascal Magiera completed the scoring at 69:12 with an unassisted shot from 23 yards out. The midfielder controlled an unsuccessful clearance and hit a hard shot that deflected off a GSW player and into the netting.
Francis Marion outshot the Hurricanes 23-3 and also earned a school-record 17 corner kicks. The previous mark of 15 was set in 1994 against Coker College. GSW took two corners.
FMU sophomore goalkeeper Mike Warn posted his seventh shutout of the season – one shy of the school record – although he was only required to make one save.
Blamire finished with eight saves.
Francis Marion Univ. (9-3-2, 4-2-2 PBC) def. Georgia Southwestern (3-10-2, 1-7-1 PBC) 4-0