Patriots put Mount Olive in a pickle

Lillian Miller, Sports Writer

Francis Marion University’s men’s soccer team managed to earn their first win of the season in a home game against Mount Olive on Sept. 13.

The one goal of the game was scored by sophomore biology major and forward Alex Blandin at the 35:05 mark during a penalty kick.

Blandin said that he had confidence in himself to make the goal.

“I’m a goal-scorer,” Blandin said. “I knew I wouldn’t miss.”

From there it was a back and forth game. If FMU took a shot at the goal, Mount Olive returned fire.

FMU outshot Mount Olive, 19-10.  Mount Olive goalkeeper Kyle Lavender acquired seven saves, and FMU goalie and freshman Political Science major Nick Lucido saved three.

“It was the best game we played as a team,” Lucido said. “We made some big saves, and we played well defensively.”

Mount Olive racked up a total of 15 fouls, and FMU acquired eight.

In one incident, two yellow cards were thrown against Mount Olive’s Vieux Sarr and FMU goalie Nick Lucido.

The skirmish was the result of a collision on field that resulted in an injury to Lucido. Sarr was following the soccer ball when Lucido fell on the ball. Sarr kept running toward the ball and hit Lucido in the mouth.

“I am not hurt now and I really wasn’t hurt, but it definitely was a shock,” Lucido said.

The game ended soon after the confrontation with no other issues, and Coach Kevin Varnado left the field with a small smile on his face.

“The game was an encouragement, especially after the struggle against Coker College on Sept. 10,” Coach Varnado said.

FMU has played and lost two away games since the Mount Olive game: one at Flagler and one at Anderson. Flagler won 5-0 and Anderson won 3-0.

FMU men’s soccer record is now 1-6-0.