FLORENCE, SC – Freshman defender Dayle McEwen scored on a penalty kick in the 50th minute to lift Francis Marion University to a season-opening 1-0 victory over Converse College, Thursday night (Aug. 31) in women's college soccer action.
The start of the match was delayed just over two hours until 9:03 p.m. by numerous lightning delays.
Francis Marion (1-0-0) avenged a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Valkyries last season in Spartanburg. The Patriots will play host to Belmont Abbey College on Saturday at 4 p.m. on Hartzler Field.
McEwen stepped to the penalty spot at the 49:52 mark and drilled her shot straight down the middle past Converse freshman goalkeeper Darian Bankston. The shot was set up when FMU sophomore Carli Gauthier dribbled around a Valkyrie defender in the 6-yard box and was spilled to the ground.
Only 36 seconds into the second half, Gauthier had nearly put the Patriots ahead 1-0, but her shot from the right side of the box sailed into the side netting.
Only three minutes following McEwen's score, FMU freshman Kylie McElroy forced a save by Bankston on a shot in the box, while freshman Emma Hall's attempt in the 86th minute again forced a save from Bankston.
FMU outshot Converse 9-7, including 8-3 over the final 45 minutes. The Valkyries led in corner kicks 5-3.
FMU junior Janine Gordon made her first collegiate start in goal and registered three saves en route to the clean sheet.
Bankston made two stops for Converse.
FMU freshman defender Brooke Kennedy preserved the shutout in the 67th minute with a defensive clearance off the goal line. Converse's Nicole Doolittle fired a shot from the right side of the box that eluded Gordon, but Kennedy was positioned on the goal line to clear the ball back out of danger.
Francis Marion Univ. (1-0-0) def. Converse College (0-1-0) 1-0
Date: Aug 31, 2017 Attendance: 100
Weather: Overcast, Wet, 73 degrees
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Converse College.... 0 0 - 0
Francis Marion Univ. 0 1 - 1
1-0. 49:52 FMU_W Dayle McEwen (1) Penalty kick
Shots: Converse College 7, Francis Marion Univ. 9 ; Saves: Converse College 2 (Darian Bankston 2), Francis Marion Univ. 4 (Janine Gordon 3; TEAM 1)