FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore forward Levin Sandmann and junior defender Jevon Williams each scored first-half goals and Francis Marion University held off a second-half rally by Erskine College to claim a 2-1 non-conference victory, Tuesday night (Oct. 18) in men's soccer action.
Francis Marion evens its record at 6-6-1 and extends its winning streak to four matches, while the Flying Fleet fall to 7-6-0. FMU will play its final regular-season home match on Thursday when the Patriots entertain Young Harris College in a key Peach Belt Conference at 6 p.m. on Hartzler Field. Thursday’s contest will be the program’s annual Sea of Red Match.
In one of the program’s fastest goals ever, Sandmann put FMU on the scoreboard only 35 seconds into the match. Erskine goalkeeper Martin Arias’ clearance pass out to the right wing was intercepted by FMU freshman Mathias Hjort who quickly crossed the ball to Sandmann who scored from 10 yards out into an open net. The score was Sandmann’s ninth of the season, tying him for the lead in the PBC. It was Hjort’s sixth helper of the season, tying him for second in the conference.
Williams tallied his first goal of the season and his third as a Patriot at the 21:23 mark. Junior Gaspard Mianne drilled in a corner kick that bounced around in the six-yard box until Williams back-heeled the sphere into the net.
In the 52nd minute, Arias made a diving stop of a shot by Sandmann after some nice touch-passing by the Patriots inside the penalty area. Less than a minute later, Erskine’s Daniel Jonna slid hard into FMU sophomore goalkeeper Jonathan Mannes and was issued a straight red card.
Now playing with a man advantage, Francis Marion looked to register a third and clinching score. However, Arias made a leaping save on a Sandmann shot in the 66th minute that the keeper pushed over the crossbar.
Erskine then trimmed the deficit to 2-1 at the 70:54 mark on a goal by Gaberiele Lanzani. Niqell Dematas served the ball to the top of the box where it was touched to Lanzani by Louis Gueye. Lanzani then sent a bending shot from 16 yards out through traffic and into the netting.
FMU had several opportunities to restore the two-goal margin, but freshman Luca Knoerzer missed high from short range and Arias made a second leaping save on a Sandmann attempt in the 87th minute.
Mannes made a crucial save at 82:33 when in transition Lanzani tried to shoot through the legs of the keeper as he ranged out of the six-yard box.
Mannes finished with five saves, while Arias recorded nine. Francis Marion outshot the Flying Fleet 24-12 and led 6-4 in corner kicks.
Francis Marion Univ. (6-6-1) def. Erskine College (7-6-0) 2-1
Date: Oct 18, 2016 Attendance: 133
Weather: Mostly Clear, 79 degrees, Winds SSW at 5 mph
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Erskine College..... 0 1 - 1
Francis Marion Univ. 2 0 - 2
1-0. 0:35 FMU Levin Sandmann (9) (Mathias Hjort) - Give-away in box by GK, short cross, 10-yd tap-in to open net
2-0. 21:23 FMU Jevon Williams (1) (Gaspard Mianne) - Off corner, loose ball was back-heeled in from 5 yds
2-1. 70:54 ERSKINE Lanzani,Gaberiele (1) (Gueye,Louis;Dematas,Niqell) - Service in, touch pass, 16 yard bending shot through traffic
Shots: Erskine College 12, Francis Marion Univ. 24 ; Saves: Erskine College 9 (Arias,Martin 9), Francis Marion Univ. 5 (Jonathan Mannes 5)