FLORENCE, S.C. – A young and pesky Francis Marion University squad battled through a scoreless first half and trailed by one goal with 20 minutes to play but eventually fell 3-1 to ninth-ranked Lander University, Saturday evening (Oct. 27) in Peach Belt Conference men’s soccer action.
The Patriots, under the direction of first-year head coach John Campbell, end their 2012 season with a 5-9-2 overall mark, a one-win improvement over the 2011 campaign. FMU’s starting lineup for Saturday’s Senior Night contest included seven freshmen.
Lander (12-2-1) wins the PBC regular-season championship with a 7-1-1 league mark.
The Bearcats outshot FMU 20-8 and led 7-3 in corner kicks.
In the scoreless first stanza, Francis Marion junior midfielder Cody Farrier had two good scoring opportunities. He corralled a deflected pass in the 33rd minute and shot high and just outside the right post. Then in the 42nd minute, he flashed across the middle of the field, received the ball, and turned and one-touched a shot from 23 yards out that also went beyond the right post.
FMU freshman Robin Schittenhelm missed on a 4-yard shot in the goalie box following a Patriot corner kick in the 50th minute.
Lander senior Mathew Bell broke the deadlock at 59:37 with his third goal of the year. Matthew Osmond served the ball out to Chris Hobbs near the left sideline and Hobbs crossed the ball through the goalie box. FMU sophomore goalkeeper Logan Fisher got his hands on the cross but it deflected to Bell who hammered the ball home from 6-yards out.
Only 58 seconds later, Hobbs doubled the margin to 2-0 with a short 3-yard shot off an assist from Osmond.
Francis Marion answered back only 1:04 later (at 61:39) to trim the Bearcat advantage to 2-1. The sequence began with FMU junior Henrique Guitti taking a free kick eight yards outside of the penalty area. His kick deflected off a defender and out to the right side where Farrier gained controlled and dribbled in. He then crossed the ball and freshman defender David Sheridan, who had pushed forward for the free kick, headed the ball into the Lander goal.
Lander’s Kevin Durand concluded the scoring when his free kick from 28 yards out on the right side glanced off the right post and into the netting.
Fisher ended the match with six saves, while Bearcat freshman goalkeeper Barrett Nielsen made one save.
Prior to the match, Francis Marion honored its two seniors: defender Travis Bally, who was appearing in his 46th career contest, and midfielder Chuy Cruz, who was making his 55th career appearance.
#9 Lander University (12-2-1, 7-1-1 PBC) def. Francis Marion Univ. (5-9-2, 1-6-2 PBC) 3-1
Date: Oct 27, 2012 Attendance: 127
Weather: Threatening, 65 degrees, 20-30 mph wind
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Lander University... 0 3 - 3
Francis Marion Univ. 0 1 - 1
1-0. 59:37 LUM Matthew Bell (3) (Chris Hobbs;Matthew Osmond) - out pass, cross, 6-yd smash from right
2-0. 60:35 LUM Chris Hobbs (11) (Matthew Osmond) - 3-yd shot from left of goalie box
2-1. 61:39 FMU David Sheridan (2) (Cody Farrier) - short cross from right,header from 4-yds
3-1. 74:23 LUM Kevin Durand (6) (unassisted) - 28-yd free kick from right angle, off rt post and in
Shots: Lander University 20, Francis Marion Univ. 8 ; Saves: Lander University 1 (Barrett Nielsen 1), Francis Marion Univ. 6 (Logan Fisher 6)