Strand delivers in double OT for FMU
Sophomore forward Isak Strand scored the first goal of his career in the 105th minute helping Francis Marion to a 1-0 double-overtime win against Belmont Abbey Saturday in Conference Carolinas men's soccer action. Francis Marion holds sole possession of first place in the conference standings after Mount Olive dropped a home match to Lees-McRae College on Saturday. The Patriots have only allowed only one goal to conference opponents this season. Strand's goal came off a double-assist from junior forward Javier Bello, who quickly laid it off for senior midfielder Oliver Peters, who then one-touch crossed it to Strand, 15 yards out in the middle of the box. This is the first overtime win for head coach Luis Rincon and the Patriots this season. The FMU defense allowed the Crusaders (3-9-1, 2-6-1) to shoot only five times during the entire match, with one shot being on-target. FMU totaled 16 shots with Bello, Strand and senior forward Nils Gulbranson adding three shots each. Sophomore midfielder Kimo Lemke and defender Sebastian Garcia added two shots, while Conference Carolinas defender of the week Oier Bernaola, midfielder Sam Pollard, and forward Nick Heunig each added one shot. The Patriots compiled nine corner kicks to the Crusaders' zero. FMU sophomore goalkeeper Ricardo Rossi registered one save, while Belmont Abbey keeper Ben Knust saved seven shots. Knust was able to save multiple potential game-winning attempts made by the Patriots all match, until overtime. It is the fourth shutout of the year for Rossi. Prior to the match, FMU recognized its eight seniors on this year's roster: Bernaola, Pollard, Peters, Gulbranson, midfielders Jafet Santiago and Gabrielle Cavarero and forwards Mauricio Castorino and Warsay Tekeste. The Patriots (7-4-2, 6-0-1) returned to action Tuesday at Mount Olive.