FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore midfielder Emma Hall netted the first goal of her collegiate career in the 85th minute to lift the Francis Marion University women's soccer team to a 3-2 win over USC Aiken, Wednesday night (Oct. 10) in Peach Belt Conference action.
The win extends Francis Marion's unbeaten run to four matches (3-0-1), the longest such streak since the Patriots won their final four contests in 2008. It also brings FMU into a tie for sixth place in the conference standings.
The Patriots (5-5-1, 2-3-0) hit the road Saturday to face Clayton State University. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. in Morrow, Ga. Francis Marion's next home tilt will be the final home contest of the season, Saturday, Oct. 20, against nationally-ranked Columbus State at 5:30 p.m. on Hartzler Field.
Francis Marion came out strong in the first half, and opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Freshman Abigail Williams played a long ball forward, freshman Kiley Barr latched onto it, and fired a shot past USCA sophomore goalkeeper Makenzie Cude.
The Patriots doubled their advantage at the 19:11 mark in similar fashion. Sophomore Dayle McEwen played a long pass ahead, and a pair of Pacers bumped into each other, leaving the net wide open for freshman Rianna Orello who made it 2-0 with a 13-yard shot.
The best chance for the Pacers (2-7-0, 0-4-0) in the first half came just more than a minute later. Sophomore Gressa Olson found space for a shot in the FMU penalty area, but her attempt was tipped wide by FMU freshman goalkeeper Rachael Hennenkamp.
Francis Marion nearly grabbed a third goal just five minutes before halftime. Sophomore Megan Misuraca intercepted the ball in the midfield and played it forward to freshman Faith Allen, who crossed it into the box. Sophomore Kylie McElroy made a diving attempt to head it home, but the pass was just beyond her reach.
USCA pulled one back 20 minutes after the restart. A foul in the Francis Marion box gave the visitors a penalty kick, and sophomore Willa Olson put it away to make it 2-1.
The Pacers levelled the score at the 72:50 mark. After a quickly taken free kick, freshman Lauren Sigmon found an open Olson, who buried a shot into the far corner to tie the match.
The Patriots regrouped, and scored the winner at the 84:34 mark, with Barr turning provider. The freshman crossed the ball from the right wing, finding Hall alone at the top of the box. Hall dribbled into the area, and calmly slotted the ball into the far corner, past charging sophomore goalkeeper Tashiana Kwatowski.
USC Aiken held an 11-7 edge in shots for the evening, and each team took three corner kicks.
Hennenkamp made five saves in the FMU net. Cude did not record a save for the Pacers while playing the first half, with Kwatowski registering three saves in the second stanza.
FMU has now won nine of 11 all-time meetings between the two PBC original members.
Post-match comments from FMU sophomore midfielder Emma Hall
Francis Marion Univ. (5-5-1, 2-3-0) def. USC Aiken (2-7-0, 1-4-0)
Date: Oct 10, 2018 Attendance: 111
Weather: Overcast,Wet,76 degrees,Winds SE @ 6 mph
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
USC Aiken........... 0 2 - 2
Francis Marion Univ. 2 1 - 3
1-0. 16:02 FMU_W Kiley Barr (2) (Abigail Williams) - Long chip pass ahead, 17 yard shot past GK
2-0. 19:11 FMU_W Rianna Orello (2) (Dayle McEwen) - long pass ahead, confusion between defender and GK, 13 yds into open
2-1. 65:27 USCA Willa Olson (2) Penalty kick - Penalty Shot
2-2. 72:50 USCA Willa Olson (3) (Lauren Sigmon) - 14 yard shot, left side of goal
3-2. 84:34 FMU_W Emma Hall (1) (Kiley Barr) - Long cross from right, 1v1 beat GK with 11 yard shot
Shots: USC Aiken 11, Francis Marion Univ. 7 ; Saves: USC Aiken 3 (Tashiana Kwatowski 3), Francis Marion Univ. 5 (Rachael Hennenkamp 5)