One too many
AMERICUS, Ga. – Saturday afternoon's match-up against the Francis Marion Patriots (4-10-1, 2-3-1 PBC) was an opportunity for the Georgia Southwestern men's soccer team to put themselves firmly in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. The Hurricanes would drop the 3-2 decision despite two GSW second half goals. The loss to Francis Marion would leave the Blue & Gold on the outside looking in of the Peach Belt playoff picture.
It was a tale of two halves offensively for both squads. The first half featured only one of the game's five goals. Francis Marion's Alex Blandin would score his first of two goals on the day when he took a misplayed ball by the GSW backline into the box and scored to the far post in the 30th minute.
The 1-0 halftime score included a 7-5 shot advantage for the visiting Patriots with GSW goal keeper Garrett Blamire tallying two saves.
The pace of the game was fast and furious in the second half. It kicked off with Ryan Wakenigg and KleesBatner Loembet-Makaya each rattling off shots from deep in the box, which were both saved by FMU goalkeeper Nick Lucido within seconds of one another.
The Patriot lead would increase to 2-0 in the 67th minute when Cameron Mabeee set up Igor Souza at the left edge of the box, and Souza would put the ball in at the far post. In the blink of an eye, the Hurricanes would get within one goal. Freshman Jon-Luke Cannada would score his second goal of the season from nine yards out just 33 seconds after the second Francis Marion goal.
The lead would flip back to two goals when Blandin tallied his second goal of the game in the 73rd minute. His flick to himself would set up his goal from 12 yards out. True to form, Georgia Southwestern would answer a FMU goal with one of their own.
Ryan Wakenigg would cut the lead back to one goal with his fourth goal of the season. The sophomore was able fire a shot from the crowded left side of the box off a deflected GSW cross. His goal would cut the lead to one again with just over five minutes to play.
The equalizer that had eluded the Hurricanes all match would never materialize in the match's final five minutes as it ended in a 3-2 win for Francis Marion. The loss puts the Georgia Southwestern record at 3-10-2 (0-6-1 PBC) for the season. It also eliminates the Hurricanes from post season play.
GSW's final match of the season will be its "Senior Sendoff" at Hurricane Field. The Blue & Gold will host Montevallo on Saturday October 29th at 3:30. The match will be the second of a men's-women's doubleheader with both squads celebrating Senior Day. Fans are encouraged to come out and support both teams and their seniors next Saturday.