MOUNT OLIVE, NC – Sophomore forward Sidney Warden came off the Francis Marion University bench and scored one goal and assisted on another as the seventh-ranked Patriots downed the University of Mount Olive 3-1, Wednesday night (Oct. 2) in non-conference men's soccer action.
FMU ups its record to 5-0-1, continuing the second-best start in program history – behind only the 1998 squad that opened 8-0-0.
The Patriots will conclude a three-match road swing as they open Peach Belt Conference play at Lander University on Saturday at 7 p.m. FMU's next home match will be Wednesday (Oct. 9) against Barton College at 7 p.m.
Despite outshooting the Trojans 9-3 over the opening 45 minutes, Francis Marion was held scoreless. Warden had the Patriots' only on-target attempt of the opening half, but a Trojan defender denied the shot from entering the goal.
FMU senior midfielder Travis Cooke finally dented the scoreboard at 68:34 when he took a pass from the right side of the box by Warden and scored from five yards out at the near post.
Patriot freshman Gadiel Santiago, in only his second match action, scored his first collegiate goal at the 80:51 mark when his 25-yard attempt landed in the upper left corner of the netting. Warden made the margin 3-0 with an unassisted goal at 84:59 as he was successful on a shot from the right side of the box.
Mount Olive (1-4-1) soiled the clean sheet with a penalty kick goal by Arthur Lucas with only 30 seconds left.
For the match, Francis Marion outshot Mount Olive 19-7 and the Patriots earned all seven corner kicks the match had to offer.
Patriot junior goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco, who entered the contest as the NCAA Division II leader in goals against average, recorded four saves. Trojan keeper Iwan Roberts posted three saves.
Cooke and Warden had three shots apiece to pace FMU.
#7 Francis Marion Univ. (5-0-1) def. Mount Olive (1-4-1) 3-1
Date: Oct 02, 2019 Attendance: 54
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Francis Marion Univ. 0 3 - 3
Mount Olive......... 0 1 - 1
1-0. 68:34 FMU Travis Cooke (Sidney Warden) - From pass from right side of box near post 5 yards out
2-0. 80:51 FMU Gadiel Santiago (unassisted) - Top of the box 25 yards out left upper corner
3-0. 84:59 FMU Sidney Warden (unassisted) - Right side of the box left corner
3-1. 89:30 UMO Arthur Lucas Penalty kick
Shots: Francis Marion 19, Mount Olive 7 ; Saves: Francis Marion 4 (Maximiliano Rocco 4), Mount Olive 4 (Iwan Roberts 3; TEAM 1)