AIKEN, SC – Sophomore forward Sidney Warden scores a pair of second-half goals, while junior goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco equaled a school record with his ninth shutout as Francis Marion University captured a 2-0 win over USC Aiken, Wednesday night (Nov. 6) in Peach Belt Conference men's soccer action.
FMU improves its record to 12-3-1, and its conference record to 4-2-0. The Patriots will close conference play and its regular season with a home match against ninth-ranked Young Harris College on Saturday (Nov. 9) at 7 p.m. A Patriot victory in that contest could bring FMU a share of its fourth PBC regular-season crown.
Despite outshooting the Pacers 4-2 and having a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks, the Patriots were held scoreless throughout the first half. In the second half, FMU outshot the Pacers 8-2 earning two goals.
Rocco only needed to make two saves en route to his ninth shutout of 2019, equaling the program record set by Mike Warn in 2014.
Warden's first goal came on an assist from sophomore Sam Pollard after a scramble in front of the goal just 1:52 into the second half. His second goal of the night, and his fifth of the season, came at the 80:37 mark when he headed the ball into the net after a cross from Pollard.
Warden led FMU with three shots, while sophomore forward Alvaro Zamora also had three shots, all on target for the Patriots. Sophomore midfielder Oliver Peters also registered two shots for Francis Marion.
USC Aiken (4-10, 2-4) was led by David Box and Ricardo Pineda who each put shots on goal. Pacer keeper Kenneth Kalek posted eight saves.
The outcome was the 100th combined coaching victory for first-year Patriot head coach Luis Rincon. He previously served as the men's and women's head coach at Ohio Valley University.
Francis Marion Univ. (12-3-1, 4-2) def. USC Aiken (4-10, 2-4) 2-0
Date: Nov 06, 2019 Attendance: 187
Weather: Upper 50s-lower 60s, clear
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Francis Marion Univ. 0 2 - 2
USC Aiken........... 0 0 - 0
1-0. 46:52 FMU Sidney Warden (4) (Sam Pollard) - scramble right in front of goal, shot off of a save
2-0. 80:37 FMU Sidney Warden (5) (Sam Pollard) - cross from left side, header 5 yrds out
Shots: Francis Marion 12, USC Aiken 4 ; Saves: Francis Marion 2 (Maximiliano Rocco 2), USC Aiken 8 (Kenneth Kalek 8)