FLORENCE, SC – Senior midfielder Travis Cooke scored twice in the second half to spark seventh-ranked Francis Marion University to a 2-0 victory over Flagler College, Saturday evening (Oct. 12) in Peach Belt Conference men's soccer action.
Francis Marion improves to 6-2-1 overall and evens its conference mark at 1-1-0, handing first-year head coach Luis Rincon his first PBC victory.
The Patriots will play their next two matches on the road, Wednesday at Chowan University at 3 p.m. and Saturday (Oct. 19) at the University of North Georgia at 7 p.m., before returning home to entertain Shaw University for Senior Night on Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.
FMU outshot the Saints 11-5 and held a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Patriot junior goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco posted his fifth shut of the season by registering two saves – both in the opening 45 minutes. Flagler sophomore keeper Andrea Lubbia recorded three saves.
The Patriot had several scoring opportunities in the scoreless first stanza. Sophomore midfielder Jafet Santiago played the ball over the top of the Flagler backline and Cooke ran onto the ball at the 16:39 mark. He fired a hard shot from 15 yards out on the right side of the box, but Lubbia made a kick save.
In the 21st minute, FMU sophomore Nestor Nunez fired a 19-yard shot that required a diving stop by Lubbia. Two minutes later, Santiago played a through ball to sophomore forward Javier Bello that produced a 1v1 situation with the goalkeeper, but Bello's attempt slid just outside the far post. Cooke's header in the 31st minute bounced off the crossbar.
Just 55 seconds into the second half, Santiago played the ball out to right side where sophomore Magnus Hoejland crossed the ball into the box and Cooke connected on a 6-yard shot that found the back of the net.
An offside call against the Patriots in the 56th minute disallowed a goal that came off a beautiful three-pass sequence. Cooke finally doubled the margin at the 75:13 mark. Santiago assisted on the score that came on an 11-yard shot to the far post by Cooke. It was the senior's third score of the 2019 campaign.
#7 Francis Marion University (6-2-1, 1-1-0) def. Flagler College (1-9-1, 0-2-0) 2-0
Date: 10/12/19 Attendance: 117
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Flagler College..... 0 0 - 0
Francis Marion Univ. 0 2 - 2
1-0. 45:55 FMU Travis Cooke (2) (Magnus Hoejland;Jafet Santiago) – played outside, cross from far right side, hard shot from 6 yards out to far post
2-0. 75:13 FMU Travis Cooke (3) (Jafet Santiago) - headed ahead, through ball, 11 yard shot
Shots: Flagler 5, Francis Marion 11 ; Saves: Flagler 3 (Lubbia, Andrea 3), Francis Marion 2 (Maximiliano Rocco 2)