FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore forward Nestor Nunez tallied two goals and an assist to lead the Francis Marion University men's soccer team to a 5-0 blanking of Coker University, Saturday afternoon (Sept. 7) in the coaching debut of Luis Rincon.
Rincon, the seventh head coach in the 44-year history of the Patriot program, became only the second mentor to open with a victory – and the 5-goal margin was the largest in a coaching debut besting a 1-0 victory over Mars Hill College by Murray Hartzler in his 1994 opening.
Francis Marion (1-0) was scheduled to play at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Sunday, but that match has been postponed until Sept. 28. The Patriots will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 14, when they host Queens University of Charlotte at 7 p.m. on Hartzler Field.
Francis Marion outshot Coker 16-6, while the Cobras led 5-3 in corner kicks.
Patriot sophomore goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco recorded four saves in his FMU debut. Sophomore Guilermo Falo-Ejea made two stops in goal for Coker (0-1).
In the 19th minute, sophomore Jafet Santiago played a ball from the right side of the field to sophomore Javier Bello, who turned and fired a left-footed shot from 19 yards out that gave FMU a 1-0 lead.
After halftime, Nestor registered the next two Francis Marion goals, in the 56th and 66th minutes, to up the margin to 3-0. The first score came after senior midfielder Travis Cooke made a long run, crossed the ball from the left side, and Nestor connected on a first-touch attempt from 11 yards out that deflected off Falo-Ejea's hand and found the back of the netting. On the second score, Nestor collected the ball at midfield, dribbled into the 18-yard box, and fired a 17-yard shot past the Cobra goalkeeper.
FMU sophomore Sidney Warden combined with Bello on a give-and-go sequence at 68:38 that resulted in a 9-yard score from Warden. Nestor headed down a cross in the penalty area at 86:34 that freshman Carlos Alonso Martinez pounced on and fired into the goal from 13 yards away.
Nestor led Francis Marion with six shots, three of which were on frame, while Bello had four attempts. The Patriots employed seven field substitutes during the contest.
FMU improves to 23-9-7 all-time against its local rival from Hartsville.
Post-match comments from coach Rincon and sophomore Javier Bello
Francis Marion Univ. (1-0-0) def. Coker University (0-1-0) 5-0
Date: 09/07/19 Attendance: 82
Weather: Sunny, Warm 90 degrees
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Coker University.... 0 0 - 0
Francis Marion Univ. 1 4 - 5
1-0. 18:04 FMU Javier Bello (1) (Jafet Santiago) – 19-yd shot from right side of box
2-0. 55:02 FMU Nestor Nunez (1) (Travis Cooke) - cross from left, first-touch shot from 11 yds
3-0. 65:31 FMU Nestor Nunez (2) (unassisted) – dribbled from midfield, 17-yard shot
4-0. 68:38 FMU Sidney Warden (1) (Javier Bello) - Give and go, cross from right side, touc
5-0. 86:34 FMU Carlos Martinez (1) (Nestor Nunez) – headed down in box, 13-yard shot
Shots: Coker 6, Francis Marion 16 ; Saves: Coker 2 (Guilermo Falo-Ejea 2), Francis Marion 4 (Maximiliano Rocco 4)