Flagler College Saints beat Patriots, 2-0, in PBC

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Photo by: Xavier Branham

Chuy Cruz dribbles the ball down the Francis Marion University Soccer field during the game against the Flagler College Saints.

Armand Broady, Sports Editor

Peach Belt Conference play started on a sour note for the FMU men’s soccer team as the fourth-ranked Flagler College Saints defeated the Patriots, 2-0, on Sunday, Sept. 9.

FMU midfielder and senior accounting major Chuy Cruz said that although it is early in the season, the match was very important for his team.

“It was definitely a measuring stick match,” Cruz said. “Everybody knew that this was our time to measure ourselves and see how we stack up against others in the country.”

Cruz also said that Flagler’s high ranking was a huge factor in his team’s anticipation for the match.

“To be the best you have to beat the best,” Cruz said. “Their ranking was only motivation for us.”

The star of the match was senior midfielder Joseph Toby, who scored once and assisted another goal for the Saints.

At the 38:19 mark, Toby sent a hard cross from the left side on the ground that FMU freshman goalkeeper Taylor King was unable to control. The ball bounced to Flagler’s freshman forward Jonny Crosgrove, who tapped the ball into the net from three yards out.

King kept the score at 1-0 when he made a save on a 12-yard shot by Toby in the 51st minute.

Flagler sophomore goalkeeper Camp Bissell kept the Patriots off the scoreboard with a difficult save in the 53rd minute. FMU junior midfielder/forward Henrique Guitti fed a pass through to junior forward/midfielder Cody Farrier, but Bissell covered the toe-poked shot.

Guitti, after a pass from freshman midfielder Matthew McNab, got behind the Saints’ backline in the 60th minute. His shot from 15 yards out passed Bissell by but not the left post.

Flagler doubled its lead to 2-0 at 72:24 when Toby took a feed from junior forward Zach Shanahan and scored from 11 yards out from the left side that tucked just inside the far post.

Even though Toby played a role in both goals, Cruz said that his team was encouraged by the defeat.

“We knew his athleticism and ability to move forward would be a threat,” Cruz said. “But we did a great job. Against other teams he could have had three or four goals.” Cruz also said that Flagler’s goals were scored off FMU’s mistakes.

The senior was quick to praise his team for the things he said he learned about his team in the loss.

“We watched the game on video and we kept the ball well,” Cruz said. “We were the superior team when it came to possession. We’re proud that it was an even game. It wasn’t one-sided at all.”

As a team, Flagler had more shots than Francis Marion (13-9) and more corner kicks (11-1).

Taylor King finished the match with six saves for FMU, while Camp Bissell notched three saves for Flagler.

The loss dropped FMU to a record of 0-3-0.