SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Forward Javier Bello registered the tying score with 3:57 remaining when he headed in a long service from Luis Villarreal to rally Francis Marion University to a 3-3 tie with regular-season champion Converse University on Wednesday in Conference Carolinas men’s soccer action.
Francis Marion sees it overall record move to 6-5-5 overall and its conference mark to 5-2-3. With the new NCAA rule of no overtime during the regular season, the five deadlocks is the most in the 47-year history of the Patriot program – besting the old mark of four set in 2013 and 2020.
FMU will conclude its regular season on Saturday with a 7 p.m. Senior Night match against Erskine College. The Patriots still retain an outside shot of finishing second behind Converse (10-1-4, 8-0-3), but will have to win Saturday and get the benefit of other results.
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Bello’s equalizer came after Villarreal served the ball in from 30 yards out near the left sideline. Bello made a run across the top of the 6-yard box and headed the ball into the right side of the Valkyrie goal. It was his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Villarreal was the hero on Monday when he notched the match-winning score in a 1-0 victory at Belmont Abbey College.
Francis Marion outshot Converse 12-9, with each squad earning five corner kicks.
FMU goalkeeper Andrea Scapolo, coming off back-to-back shut wins, made three saves, while Converse’s David Windmiller also recorded three stops.
The Valkyries took a 1-0 lead on a score by Felix Frenz in the 23rd minute.
FMU’s Alvaro Zamora and Matias Morales executed a perfect give-and-go sequence off a free kick that ended with Zamora burying a 26-yard blast at the 29:34 mark to even the match at 1-1. It was Zamora’s 19th career score as a Patriot.
Less than two minutes later, at 31:17, Francis Marion midfielder Hugo Jonsson collected a loose ball near midfield and dribbled into the penalty area when he unleashed a 16-yard laser that sailed into the left side of the goal for a 2-1 Patriot advantage.
Converse quickly reversed the score with a pair of goals by Hayden Gensler in the opening 10:09 of the second half. The score remained 3-2 until Bello’s goal in the final four minutes.
Lincoln Memorial 3
HARTSVILLE—Coker University men’s soccer won a South Atlantic Conference thriller over Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday by a score of 4-3.
Lincoln Memorial struck first in the 29th minute, before Coker would counter just 31 seconds later when Luca Leonini scored from Gustavo Palmieri. The Railsplitters would regain the lead a minute later, before Frederic Benedix would tie the game from Palmieri in the 38th minute. The teams went to the break tied 2-2.
Lincoln Memorial would take a 3-2 lead on a goal in the 52nd minute, before Tony Barry would tie the game yet again off an assist from Ché Richards in the 62nd minute. The teams went into the final six minutes tied, before Barry set up Leonini for his second of the night to put the Cobras in front for good.
The Cobras (5-1-8, 4-0-5) return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday to face Emory & Henry in South Atlantic Conference action.
SPARTANBURG – Forward Valentina Restrepo netted a second-half goal after a goalkeeper mistake to give Francis Marion University a 2-1 Conference Carolinas win over Converse University on Wednesday in women’s soccer action.
The Patriots will return home for the final home match of the season and will celebrate Senior Day while hosting Erskine College on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Converse’s Kaylee Couder put the Valkyries on the board first after a long through ball from Ellie Gore. Little River native Linsey Downey would knot the game with a goal from 12 yards out after a pass from midfielder J.G. Garon. That would take the Patriots into halftime even at 1-1.
Restrepo’s score followed a Converse free kick, which was cleared out by defender Paula Sanabria and then sent through the Valkyrie defense by FMU forward Le’Landra Jarvis. The through ball was whiffed by the Converse keeper and finished off by Restrepo into the open goal. Her score was put away from the edge of the 18-yard box into the lower left side of the net at the 71:33 mark.
Patriot goalkeeper Makayla Willets pulled in five saves, including a leaping stop with 11:21 remaining on a potential match-tying attempt when a Valkyrie forward got between FMU defenders. The saves make her just 10 shy of jumping into third place all-time in saves for the FMU program.
Lincoln Memorial 3
HARTSVILLE—Coker University women’s soccer dropped its South Atlantic Conference contest to Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday by a score of 3-0.
Liz Crowe, Catrionna Manning, Sophie Burkett and Anna Bozzone each registered one shot in the contest.
The Cobras return to action at noon Saturday at Emory & Henry in South Atlantic Conference action.
Mount Olive 3
MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – A 15-5 run in the fourth set gave momentum to the University of Mount Olive as the Trojans went on to win the final two sets in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over visiting Francis Marion University on Wednesday in Conference Carolinas volleyball play.
Francis Marion drops to 12-9 overall and 7-5 in conference play, while the Trojans (16-8, 9-2) sweep the season series against the Patriots – winning both in five sets.
FMU will visit Converse University on Friday at 7 p.m., before making the trip to Belmont, N.C., for a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee against Belmont Abbey College.
Middle blocker Lily Walton and outside hitter Lexi Albright both led the Patriots in kills with 11 each. Walton also finished the match with four total blocks, tied with Kalee Peter and Beyonce Andrews. Patriot libero Zoie Larkins totaled 19 digs.
Francis Marion setter Kaylee Gillespie tallied 36 assists – giving her 2,114 in her career and making her 95 assists shy of tying the fourth-most assists in program history.
Neza Pec led Mount Olive with 12 kills and 12 digs.
Seven kills by Walton helped the Patriots start the match with a 1-0 lead after set No. 1. The Trojans responded in the second set with a 15-9 set-ending run to win 25-18.
After going up 2-1 after three sets, Francis Marion jumped out to an 18-8 lead in set No.4 before the Trojans rallied on the 15-5 run to knot the fourth set at 23-23. The Trojans eventually outlasted the Patriots 26-24 to tie the match at 2-2.
Mount Olive went on a 6-0 run to start the deciding fifth set, eventually taking a 9-2 lead. FMU immediately began to claw its way back into the match, reducing the margin to 14-12. However, a kill by Amara Eziakonwa ended the Patriots’ comeback hopes as the Trojans defended home court in a five-set thriller.
HICKORY, N.C.—Coker University volleyball fell at Lenoir-Rhyne in four sets on Wednesday by a score of 3-1 (25-20, 18-25, 18-25, 11-25).
Chelsey Blume led the way with 15 kills. Adriana Velez dished out a team-high 17 assists while Makayla Harris led the way with 11 digs.
The Cobras return to action on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at Newberry in South Atlantic Conference action.
Coker’s Hallinger earns SAC honor
ROCK HILL—Coker University junior men’s golfer Jonathan Hallinger has been named the South Atlantic Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week.
Hallinger played for the individual title at the Camden Intercollegiate (Oct. 3-4), finishing in a tie for first after battling through four playoff holes. Hallinger posted an even-par 70 in round one, before shooting a 65 (-5) in the second round, which is one off the school-record low round (Christopher Marsh, 2008-09, 64).
Hallinger’s 36-hole total of 135 is just two strokes off Marsh’s school-record 133 from the Kiawah Island Invitational during the 2008-09 season. Hallinger turned in a 72 in the final round for a 207 for the tournament.
Hallinger then finished in a tie for fourth place individually the next week (Oct. 10-11) at the Irish Creek Invitational, shooting rounds of 69, 66 and 76 for a total of 211. Hallinger’s 211 for the tournament tied for seventh all-time in program history in a 54-hole total.
Hallinger’s round of 66 is just two off the school record for low round, while his 135 is tied for the second-lowest 36-hole total in program history.
This is Hallinger’s first career Golfer of the Week honor.
The Cobras return to the course on Monday at the Currahee Classic in Toccoa, Ga. at Currahee Golf Club.