MORROW, GA – Sophomore Levin Sandmann’s first-half hat trick keyed a huge Francis Marion University rally as the Patriots overcame a pair of two-goal deficits to claim a 5-3 Peach Belt Conference road win over Clayton State University, Saturday night (Oct. 1) in men's soccer action.
Francis Marion ups its overall record to 3-6-1 and evens its conference slate at 2-2-0, while Clayton State falls to 1-8-0 and 0-4-1.
The Patriots will travel across the North Carolina border to face UNC Pembroke on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The next home contest for FMU will be on Saturday, Oct. 8, against defending conference champion Young Harris College at 1:30 p.m.
The Lakers stunned FMU by scoring only nine seconds into the match. The margin grew to 2-0 when Will Summerfield tallied an unassisted goal at 14:17.
Patriot freshman Lee Northfield registered an unassisted goal on a low line-drive to the left corner of the goal at the 31:43 mark. However, Clayton State’s Bilal Nakhli restored the two-goal margin only 1:10 later.
Sandmann then went to work on recording possibly the fastest hat trick in program history – taking only 10:31. His first score was unassisted at 33:47 and brought the Patriots to within 3-2. Freshman Mathias Hjort fed Sandmann for his second goal at 34:50 knotting the match at 3-3.
Sandmann’s third tally came on a shot from the left side off a pass from sophomore Oliver Drakenhammar at 44:18. The hat trick was the first for a Patriot since the 2014 season.
Drakenhammar and Hjort combined for an insurance score in the 72nd minute, with Drakenhammar finding the back of the net.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jonathan Mannes relieved starter Jordan Le Guyader in the first half and earned the win. He did not allow a goal over his 55 minutes, while posting three saves.
Francis Marion outshot the Lakers 22-17, but Clayton State held a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Sandmann takes over the team lead for goals with six, while Drakenhammar has five.
Francis Marion Univ. (3-6-1, 2-2-0 PBC) def. Clayton State (1-8-0, 0-4-1 PBC) 5-3
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Shots: Francis Marion Univ. 22, Clayton State 17 ; Saves: Francis Marion Univ. 4 (Jonathan Mannes 3; Jordan Le Guyader 1), Clayton State 7 (Fraire, Leuri 7)