ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Sophomore midfielder Sam Pollard scored with 5:05 left in regulation, and after two scoreless overtime sessions, 12th-ranked Francis Marion University recorded a 1-1 tie on the road at Eckerd College, Saturday night (Sept. 28) in non-conference men's soccer action.
Francis Marion moves to 4-0-1, the second-best start in program history – behind only the 1998 squad that opened 8-0-0.
The Patriots will continue their three-match road swing as they play at the University of Mount Olive on Wednesday at 7 p.m. FMU's next home match will be Oct. 9 against Barton College at 7 p.m.
Francis Marion outshot the Tritons (5-2-1) 12-10, while Eckerd held an 8-3 edge in corner kicks. FMU played the final 10:27 of the match with a man advantage as a Triton player was issued a straight red card after a slide tackle near midfield. While dominating possession deep in their own attacking end during the second 10-minute overtime session, the Patriots were only able to register two shots and neither was on frame.
FMU junior goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco posted five saves, while Eckerd freshman Lynden Dawson made four stops. A second-half goal by Eckerd ended Rocco's scoreless minutes streak at 434:22, second-longest in team history behind only Clarke Richeson's 481:05 mark set in 2008.
During a scoreless opening half, Patriot senior midfielder Travis Cooke made a foray up the left sideline in the 35th minute and crossed the box into the 6-yard box, but sophomore midfielder Jafet Santiago was unable to get a foot on the ball at the mouth of the goal.
In the 41st minute, sophomore Oliver Peters sent a low scorching shot that Dawson smothered near the center of the goal line.
FMU survived a trio of Eckerd shots during a span of 1:38 late in the half that saw one hit the post, one saved by Rocco, and one miss the target entirely.
Eckerd's Augustin Pertusso ended the deadlock with a goal at the 56:29 mark, when off a short corner, the cross deflected off the crossbar and Pertusso pounced on the opportunity. Francis Marion had been the lone NCAA Division II team not to have allowed a goal this season.
Looking for the equalizer, Cooke forced a save by Dawson with a header in the 77th minute and sophomore Nestor Nunez sent a bending 28-yard shot that Dawson covered in the 85th minute.
However, following an Eckerd foul, a long ball was sent into the penalty area and a deflected ball landed at Pollard's feet 12 yards from goal and he converted inside the near (left) post at 84:55.
Neither squad threatened again in regulation. FMU had the only two shots in the first overtime period, but neither was on frame.
Cooke and Nestor had three shots apiece to lead the Patriots.
#12 Francis Marion Univ. (4-0-1) ties Eckerd College (5-2-1) 1-1 2OTs
Date: 09/28/19 Attendance: 89
Goals by period 1 2 ot ot To
Francis Marion Univ. 0 1 0 0 - 1
Eckerd College 0 1 0 0 - 1
1-0. 19:38 EC Augustin Pertusso (6) (Pedro Galvoa) – short shot after cross deflects of crossbar
1-1. 84:55 FMU Sam Pollard (1) (unassisted) - 12 yard shot off deflected ball
Shots: Eckerd 10, Francis Marion 12; Saves: Eckerd 4 (Lynden Dawson 4), Francis Marion 5 (Maximiliano Rocco 5)