FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore midfielder Jafet Santiago scored in the 20th minute and sophomore forward Alvaro Zamora added an insurance tally in the 84th minute as Francis Marion University posted its fourth consecutive shutout with a 2-0 win over the University of Montevallo, Saturday afternoon (Sept. 21) in non-conference men's soccer action.
Francis Marion improves to 4-0-0 on the young season, its best start since 2003. The 1998 squad is the only other FMU team to open a season with four consecutive clean sheets.
First-year head coach Luis Rincon's charges will return to the field next Saturday with a 7 p.m. match at Eckerd College. The Patriots' next home match will be Oct. 9 against Barton College at 7 p.m.
Montevallo, which was coming off a road win over nationally ranked Clayton State University on Thursday, dips to 2-2-1.
Francis Marion outshot the Falcons14-5 and took all six the contest's corner kicks.
Santiago gave FMU a 1-0 advantage at 19:38 when he scored on an 18-yard blast from the middle of the field. The play began with a Patriot corner kick and the ball was punched out by Falcon goalkeeper Robert Kuta but not successfully cleared by a Montevallo teammate.
Patriot senior midfielder Travis Cooke nearly doubled the margin in the 53rd minute when his cross from the left side glanced off the crossbar. A free kick by freshman Pantelis Panteli forced a save by Kuta at 62:22.
Francis Marion junior goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco need to make only one save while extending his scoreless minutes streak to 377:53, the fourth longest streak in team history.
The FMU backline of Gonzalo Garcia, Javier Morcillo, Sam Pollard, and Carlos Alonso Martinez, along with Rocco, limited the Falcons to only the one shot on target – and that occurred in the 52nd minute.
Zamora did double the Patriot margin to 2-0 at the 83:16 mark. A deflected pass from Martinez found its way to Zamora and he connected on a 13-yard attempt. It was his team-leading third score of the year, after posting match-winning goals in each of the last two contests.
Zamora led FMU with five shots, while sophomore Nestor Nunez had three and Cooke and Panteli two each.
Post-match comments from FMU head coach Luis Rincon and assistant coach Fabio Tamayo
Francis Marion Univ. (4-0-0) def. Univ. of Montevallo (2-2-1) 2-0
Date: 09/21/19 Attendance: 77
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Univ. of Montevallo. 0 0 - 0
Francis Marion Univ. 1 1 - 2
1-0. 19:38 FMU Jafet Santiago (1) (unassisted) - 18 yard shot from top of box after keepe
2-0. 83:16 FMU Alvaro Zamora (3) (Carlos Martinez) - 13 yard shot off deflected pass
Shots: Montevallo 5, Francis Marion 14; Saves: Montevallo 6 (Robert Kuta 6), Francis Marion 1 (Maximiliano Rocco 1)