Patriots fall to USCA Pacers in PBC semifinal


Photo by: Austin Kemmerlin

Jeremy Bonyaa was selected to the PBC all-conference second team.

Brandon Rybak, Sports Writer

The Francis Marion Patriots took to the pitch on Tuesday, November 4 in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament. Thanks to the outstanding play from junior defender David Sheridan, the Patriots advance to the semifinals of the PBC Tournament with a 2-0 victory against Montevallo.

The first patriot goal came from a brilliant header by Sheridan. The goal came quickly for the Patriots. Sheridan buried the ball into the back of the net only four minutes after the first whistle. The ball was sent in from a corner kick by Sven Ricke. The ball slipped through the hands of Montevallo’s goalkeeper freshman Yannic Horn and Sheridan found himself right on the receiving end of the botched play.

The goal would give the Patriots the early advantage and they never let up. They blasted Horn with 14 shots and forced him to make seven saves. Horn came up big for his team in the thirty-third minute while robbing FMU freshman Ryan Kolenda of a point-blank shot. Later in the second half Horn made a diving save to help the Falcons stay in the game.

The Patriots would get their second goal of the game in the fifty-first minute of the game. The ball would be crossed in by Francis Marion freshman Jayden Doyle and it would deflect off the foot of a falcon defender resulting in an own goal.

Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Warn once again came up big for the Patriots with yet another shut out. It is his 9th shutout of the season which is an FMU school record.  He made six saves in the game and his outstanding performances were a major reason for the Patriot’s success this season.  Warn also received the PBC Goalkeeper of the Year award.

The game against Montevallo was a re-match of the conference championship game last season in which the Patriots lost 2-0. This year’s victory was only the second time in the last eleven meetings that Francis Marion prevailed over the Montevallo falcons.

With the win the Francis Marion Patriots advanced to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Semifinals. They moved to 12-3-2 on the season. It is one of the top ten best season totals in the history of the program. The Patriots were the third seed in the tournament and after beating Montevallo they earned the right to face the second seed in the tournament USC-Aiken on Friday, November 6. The Patriots lost in 3-1 decision. A pair of second half goals from USCA knocked the Patriots out of the conference tournament.