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Patriots face Bearcats in PBC soccer semifinals

Patriots face Bearcats in PBC soccer semifinals

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FLORENCE, S.C. – Fourth-seeded Francis Marion University will face top-seeded and third-ranked Lander University on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Peach Belt Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament.

The match will kick-off at 7 p.m. on Lander’s Van Taylor Stadium.

Francis Marion owns a 4-3-2 record and has not played since March 22. The final two matches of the Patriots’ COVID-delayed 2020 schedule, both against USC Aiken, were canceled.

Lander is unbeaten at 8-0-0 and has scored the most goals in the PBC (25) while allowing the fewest (4).

As a team, FMU has scored 17 goals and allowed nine. Junior forward Javier Bello paces the Patriots with 10 points (4 goals, 2 assists). Senior goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco has started eight of the nine matches and has registered a 0.94 goals against average with 31 saves.

Lander won both regular-season meetings between the two squads this spring, both by narrow one-goal decisions. The Bearcats won 1-0 in Greenwood on a goal in the 85th minute and were victorious 2-1 in Florence on a score in the 82nd minute.

Francis Marion is the defending tournament champion, having defeated the Bearcats 1-0 in last year’s title match in Augusta, Ga. The Patriots went on to finish with a 16-5-1 record, a No.22 national ranking, and advanced to the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division II Tournament.

FMU has previously won the PBC Tournament title on three occasions: 2019, 2008, and 1999.

Second-seeded Young Harris College (5-2-1) hosts third-seeded Flagler College (4-2-1) in the other semifinal match, Wednesday at 4 p.m. The championship match is scheduled for Sunday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

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