November 4, 2013

Patriots set to host Clayton State in PBC Quarterfinals

Florence, S.C. (Nov. 4, 2013) – The Francis Marion University men's soccer team is set to host Clayton State University in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Tournament, Tuesday at 7 p.m., on Hartzler Field.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students, with FMU faculty, staff, and students admitted free with identification. 

The match will be streamed live online, and shown locally on Time Warner Cable channel 11, courtesy of the Patriot Sports Network.

The Patriots enter the contest seeded fourth in the tournament with an 8-4-4 overall record, and a 5-3-1 mark in PBC play. The Lakers are the fifth seed after earning a 10-4-2 overall record, and an identical 5-3-1 mark in PBC contests.

FMU and Clayton State tied for fourth in the conference standings, however the Patriots earned home-field advantage for the quarterfinal match by virtue of their 2-0 win over the Lakers on Oct., 19. Sophomore Tyler Norris and Senior Alex Blandin each recorded goals in the Patriot victory. Freshman goalkeeper Mike Warn earned a shutout in his collegiate debut while filling in for injured starter Nick Stover.

It will be the first time since 2002 that the Patriots will host a first round match in the PBC Tournament.

Sophomore Sven Ricke has paced the Patriot offense this season with a team-high 11 points on two goals and seven assists. Freshman Shahin Hemat leads FMU in goals scored with four, while also picking up two assists.

Stover leads the PBC this season in save percentage (.819), while ranking third in goals against (15) and goals-against-average (0.99). The Patriot back line also features sophomore Michael Eibl and senior Simon Nett who have each been named PBC Defender of the Week once this season.

The Lakers feature the top scorer in the PBC, Alhagi Toure, who scored 18 goals in the regular season. Clayton State goalkeeper Nick Punter started all 16 regular season matches, and owns a goals-against-average of 1.17, while making 77 saves to help compile a save percentage of .802.

It will be an interesting matchup on both sides of the ball as Clayton State brings the PBC's third-best offense with 36 goals scored, while FMU boasts the third-best defense with only 16 goals allowed.

The winner of Tuesday's match will face the winner of the match between top-seeded Young Harris and eighth-seeded North Georgia. The semifinals and the finals of the PBC Championships will be held near Augusta, Ga., at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga., on Friday, Nov. 8, and Sunday, Nov. 10.