FLORENCE, S.C. – The pairings for the Peach Belt Conference men’s and women’s soccer tournaments were announced on Monday. The Francis Marion University women’s squad will host a first-round match, while the Patriot men will travel for the opening round.
By virtue of winning their first-ever PBC regular-season title, the 12-3-0 Patriot women will enter the tournament as the top seed and will play host to eighth-seeded Georgia College & State University (5-9-2), Wednesday at 2 p.m. Admission is free.
If FMU wins that match, the Patriots would serve as the host for the tournament semifinals and finals, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Francis Marion won an earlier meeting this season 4-0 in Milledgeville, Ga. This is the inaugural season for the GC&SU women’s squad. FMU, which has won five straight and 10 of its last 11, is led in scoring by sophomore Ashley Fortune (15 goals, 9 assists) and junior Katie Riley (10 goals, 9 assists). GC&SU is the lowest scoring team in the Peach Belt, with 16 goals in 16 matches, while Francis Marion has allowed only 16 goals in its 15 contests.
Of the previous four women’s tournaments, FMU won the 2001 event and has advanced to the semifinal round each year.
The FMU men (8-9-1) will enter the PBC Tournament as the sixth seed and will travel to Morrow, Ga., to face third-seeded and 14th-ranked Clayton College & State University (11-2-3), Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Francis Marion dropped a 2-1 decision to Clayton State earlier this season in Morrow. After a season-high five-match winning streak, FMU has lost three of its last four matches, all one-goal defeats. Tuesday’s match will be the Patriots’ fourth match-up with a nationally ranked squad in the past 14 days.
Seniors Henry Theiling (9 goals, 6 assists) and Peter Nsubuga (8 goals, 4 assists) lead the Patriots in scoring. In the previous 13 PBC Tournaments, FMU owns a 9-12-1 record, including winning the 1999 tournament title. Francis Marion and Clayton State have met only once in PBC Tournament competition, with the Patriots claiming a 2-0 win during their 1999 title run.