University of Mount Olive played virtually even with Francis Marion University statistically, but goals late in the first half and early in the second half were the difference as the Trojans fell to the Patriots 2-0 in non-conference men's soccer Thursday at Florence, S.C. The loss was the Trojans' third straight after going unbeaten in their first four matches of the season.
Mount Olive (2-3-2) had a scoring chance in the 31st minute on a counterattack after Trojan goalkeeper Nick Bernsdorf made a save on a Francis Marion free kick. Cooper Gaypia carried the ball from midfield, eluded a defender and shot to the upper 90 from the top of the box. Patriot goalkeeper Mike Warn punched the ball just over the top left of the crossbar and the Trojans were unable to capitalize on the ensuing corner kick.
Francis Marion broke the deadlock at 38:32 when Michael Eibl captured a loose ball in the box and scored from 17 yards out to give the Patriots a 1-0 halftime lead. Eibl added a second goal less than five minutes into the second half.
The Trojans held an 11-10 shot advantage going into the 85th minute before Francis Marion recorded three shots in the final five minutes. Bernsdorf tallied two saves in the first half for Mount Olive and Adam Lawrence registered six saves in goal in the second half, including a kick save on a point blank shot late in the contest. Warn had a pair of saves for the Patriots.
The match was originally scheduled to be a home match for Mount Olive, but heavy rain made Amon Field unavailable. Amon Field was playable Thursday, but the match was moved to Francis Marion due to the Patriots' travel schedule.
Mount Olive resumes Conference Carolinas action Saturday as the Trojans play host to Erskine in the second half of a men's and women's soccer doubleheader. The women's match vs. Erskine kicks off at 1 p.m., followed by the men's match at 4 p.m.