Francis Marion University (FMU) and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) played to a 1-1 tie, but the Highlanders advanced to the title match by virtue of a 4-2 win in a penalty kick shootout on Friday, Oct. 31 at the Division I Independent Schools Tournament.
The match went into the record books as a tie and moved FMU’s season mark to 3-11-1.
Senior defender Brittney Smith tallied her first goal of 2014 to give FMU an early 1-0 advantage. The Arkport, N.Y. native corralled the ball at the top of the penalty area and her high shot deflected off the hands of NJIT goalkeeper Karen David and into the goal. It was Smith’s fourth career score.
The Highlanders answered with the equalizing goal in the 38th minute. Jaclyn Ward took a pass from Dana Schules and converted on a long 30-yard shot to knot the score at 1-1.
That score remained on the scoreboard through the second half and both 10-minute overtime periods bringing about the first penalty kick shootout in the 20-year history of the FMU program.
NJIT (3-12-2) went first in the shootout and converted on all four of its shots, while seniors Chanel Harris and Sandy Odembo were successful on the Patriots’ first and third attempts. FMU missed on its second and fourth shots.
FMU led 17-9 in shots, but only two attempts were on frame: Smith’s goal and a shot by Harris in the 94th minute that forced a team save. FMU also held a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.
The Patriots then faced South Carolina State University in the third-place match on Sunday, Nov. 2.
South Carolina State University outlasted FMU 1-0.
FMU ends its season with a 3-12-1 record, while S.C. State finishes 3-14-0.
FMU outshot the Bulldogs 11-8 and led in corner kicks 7-3.
Patriot junior goalkeeper Taylor O’Berry recorded two saves and ends the season with a school-record career saves total of 298. The Bulldogs’ keeper Haley Austin made six saves.
Seven FMU seniors saw their collegiate careers come to an end: forward Elizabeth Asare; defenders Sandy Odembo, Brittney Smith and Kristina Marra; and midfielders Chanel Harris, Lexxis Cherry and Kimberley Hurter.
FMU had two attempts to tally the equalizer after Brown converted her free kick. Sophomore Kelly Anthony’s shot in the 82nd minute was saved, and Asare shot wide of the goal in the final minute.
Anthony led the Patriots with four shots, two of which were on goal. Stay tuned to FMU sports to see what the Patriot’s have in store for the Winter breaks and Spring semester.