Men's Soccer Defeats Francis Marion, 2-1October 30, 2013
Trojans Slip to No. 8 in NCAA Southeast Region Poll
ANDERSON, S.C. – After one final non-conference tune-up before closing the regular season this weekend, Anderson University men’s soccer added a key regional win to its resume, defeating Francis Marion 2-1 Wednesday evening at Trojan Stadium.
The victory solidifies AU’s first double-digit win total since 2011 after winning just six in last season’s conference tournament championship run. The win also gives Anderson (10-4-3, 4-4-2 SAC) three wins over Peach Belt Conference members, clinching an unbeaten record against the conference with a 3-0-1 mark.
A pair of forwards who each recorded their second goals of the season were the heroes of tonight’s match as redshirt sophomore Benoit Torres and graduate student Bernd Muxel each notched goals en route to the 2-1 victory. Redshirt sophomore Henrique Gazzi increased his assist count to seven on the season, which leads the team.
Torres opened the scoring in the 39th minute when he collected the ball about 40 yards away from goal. Torres was able to take on the Patriot defense and made a run to the top of the box. The native of Pibrac, France was able to fire a shot past FMU goalkeeper Nick Stover’s left for the match’s opening goal. The Trojans would eventually take their 1-0 lead into halftime.
Just over a minute into the second half, the Patriots stormed back as midfielder Joergen Tesdal sent a cross into the Anderson box where he found forward Cody Farrier. Farrier’s header had just enough on it to get past Anderson goalkeeper Bo Haug. For Farrier, the equalizer was his third goal of the season as he evened the score at 1-1.
In the 65th minute, the Trojans got their game-winner as Gazzi found some space between FMU’s midfield and defense. Gazzi was able to float a pass far post where he found Muxel. Muxel one-timed the shot past Stover to his right as the Schoppernau, Austria native earned his first game-winning goal in a Black and Gold jersey.
The Anderson defense closed out the remaining 25 minutes, as redshirt sophomore Lars Zimmerman returned to action after one match hiatus. Zimmerman led the backline and held the Patriots to four shots for the final half. Haug recorded just one save in each half, as FMU a fired a total of 11 shots, while AU totaled 15 for the evening.
On the downside of this evening’s win, the latest NCAA Regional rankings were announced with the Trojans on the outside looking in, earning the No. 8 position with the top six teams advancing to the NCAA Tournament. With Carson-Newman now jumping into the No. 4 position, Saturday’s match against the Eagles carries a lot on the line.
“I’m very pleased with the effort tonight, this is great regional win for us,” Anderson head coach John Murphy said. “We’ve had a fantastic season so far, but we dropped in the regional rankings for the first time this year. With our strength of schedule and performances, I think people will start to take notice. We’re going to focus on our own performances and prepare for this upcoming weekend.”
Anderson hosts Carson-Newman for the regular season finale, as both teams will be looking to remain in the regional rankings, but also within the top six. Kickoff with the Eagles is slated for 3:30, immediately following the women’s match which is set for 1 p.m.