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Patriots and Pacers finish neck-and-neck at finish line

Published: October 12, 2011

FLORENCE SC - Francis Marion University scored early, but USC Aiken scored late and the two long-time Peach Belt Conference rivals played through two scoreless overtime periods to end in a 1-1 deadlock, Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 12) in men’s college soccer action.

Francis Marion (2-9-1, 0-3-1) took a 1-0 advantage in the 11th minute. Junior midfielder Chuy Cruz picked off an errant USCA pass at the top of the 18-yard box and fed the ball to sophomore Alex Blandin.  Blandin then dribbled to his right before unleashing an 11-yard shot into the opposite side of the netting.  It is the Shreveport, La., native’s third score in two matches and his fifth of the 2011 campaign.

FMU outshot the Pacers 4-1 over the opening 45 minutes, with the one USCA attempt being a long fleeting chance that missed the goal by many yards.

The Patriots had a chance to double their margin to 2-0 in the 60th minute but USCA goalkeeper Robert Bolender came off his line and stopped a hard shot by Blandin, who had taken a through ball from Igor Souza and gotten behind the Pacer defensive backline.

USCA (3-6-3, 1-2-2) stepped up its offensive attack in the second stanza and knotted the score at 1-1 with 10:49 remaining when Edmund Eastick took a pass from Scott Newby and scored on a 13-yard shot from the left side.  Fifteen minutes earlier, Newby had his solid scoring opportunity in the box turned away by FMU freshman goalkeeper Nick Lucido.

USCA’s Gilmer Medina had a chance to win the match with 3:33 left, but slightly miss hit a 14-yard shot in the box that Lucido was then able to corral.

Francis Marion outshot the Pacers 3-2 in overtime, but neither team was able to score.  For the match, the Patriots held a slight edge in shots 13-10, while both teams were awarded four corner kicks.

Lucido finished with four saves, while Bolender made six stops.

Francis Marion will continue its five-match homestand when the Patriots host the University of Montevallo for a PBC match on Saturday at 2 p.m.



Francis Marion University (2-9-1, 0-3-1) ties USC Aiken (3-6-3 , 1-2-2 PBC) 1-1
Date: Oct 12, 2011  Attendance: 217

Weather: Overcast, 79 degrees, slight breeze

Goals by period          1  2 OT O2  Tot
USC Aiken...........       0  1  0  0 -  1
Francis Marion Univ.  1  0  0  0 -  1

1-0.  10:53 FMU Blandin, Alex (5) (Cruz, Chuy) - Turnover in midfield, shot from right angle 11 yards
1-1.  79:11 USCAM Eastick, Edmund (1) (Newby, Scott) - 13 yard shot from left angle

Shots: USC Aiken 10, Francis Marion Univ. 13
Saves: USC Aiken 6 (Bolender, Robert 6), Francis Marion Univ. 4 (Lucido, Nick 4)


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