FLORENCE, SC – Junior defender David Sheridan scored on a header in the fourth minute and Francis Marion University was the beneficiary of a second-half own goal as the third-seeded Patriots blanked sixth-seeded University of Montevallo 2-0, Tuesday evening (Nov. 4) in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Men's Soccer Tournament.
Francis Marion improves to 12-3-2, the eighth-highest season win total in program history, and advances to Friday's semifinals in Evans, Ga. The Patriots will face second-seeded USC Aiken at 2 p.m. at Blanchard Woods Park. USCA defeated UNC Pembroke 2-1 on Tuesday.
The contest was a re-match of last year's tournament title match that Montevallo won 2-0. However, this time the Patriots prevailed for their first victory over the Falcons since 2011 and only their second-ever over the Alabama school in 11 meetings.
Sheridan's score came at the 3:34 mark when a corner kick by Sven Ricke slipped through the hands of the Montevallo goalkeeper and glanced off Sheridan's head and into the goal just inside the right post. It was his fourth tally of the season, three of which have been match-winners.
FMU got an insurance goal at 50:19 when a cross by freshman Jayden Doyle caromed off the foot of a Falcon defender at the near post and into the netting.
FMU sophomore goalkeeper Mike Warn, the reigning PBC AstroTurf Goalkeeper of the Week, earned the shutout and in the process set a new school record for clean sheets in a season at nine. On Tuesday, he posted six saves, the most difficult of which was on a curling 11-yard shot by Alex Morton in the 31st minute. The crossbar also proved friendly to the Canadian international as it blocked a shot from the far left wing by Steven Didik with 20 seconds left before halftime.
Montevallo held a slight lead in shots 15-14, while both squads earned six corner kicks.
Freshman goalkeeper Yannic Horn made seven saves for the Falcons. Horn registered a point-blank save on a blast by FMU freshman Ryan Kolenda in the 33rd minute, and later in the 72nd minute made an acrobatic leaping move to push away a 22-yard attempt by Kolenda.
Looking ahead to the semifinals, FMU defeated USCA 1-0 in overtime earlier this season in Aiken, and the Patriots lead the all-time series 15-10-5.
Francis Marion Univ. (12-3-2, 3rd seed) def. Univ. of Montevallo (6-7-4, 6th seed) 2-0
Date: Nov 04, 2014 Attendance: 127
Weather: Cloudy, 56 degrees, Winds calm
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Univ. of Montevallo. 0 0 - 0
Francis Marion Univ. 1 1 - 2
1-0. 3:34 FMU David Sheridan (4) (Sven Ricke) - Keeper misshandles corner kick and goes off #4 head at back post
2-0. 50:19 FMU OWN GOAL (unassisted) - own goal off UM defender on Doyle cross
Shots: Univ. of Montevallo 15, Francis Marion Univ. 14 ; Saves: Univ. of Montevallo 7 (Horn, Yannic 7), Francis Marion Univ. 6 (Mike Warn 6); Peach Belt Conference Tournament Quarterfinals