FLORENCE, S.C. - A penalty kick goal in the 50th minute was the lone goal scored as the Converse soccer team dropped a tough 1-0 decision to Francis Marion on Thursday evening to open the 2017 campaign. The Valkyries fell to 0-1 on the season, while FMU went to 1-0.
After a two-hour weather delay the teams finally kicked off at midfield. The early part of the contest was played slowly as both teams tried to get a feel for the other. Francis Marion got a shot off 11 minutes into the first half, but it sailed wide. That was the only shot FMU tallied in the first 45 and Converse, even though it did not record a goal, started to put pressure on the Patriotsâ€™ defense with precision passing and textbook set pieces.
Converse outshot Francis Marion 4-1 in the opening 45, including 3-0 with shots on goal. Melching led all players with two shots. CC was presented with four corner kicks in the first half, but could not capitalize.
Francis Marion finally pushed ahead on the scoreboard in the 50th minute. Following a foul in the box, Dayle McEwen calmly placed a penalty kick into the back of the cage for a 1-0 lead.
The remainder of the game Converse could only muster three more shots, one of which was on goal, compared to eight by the Patriots, eventually falling by the final of 1-0.
Darian Bankston suffered the tough loss, minding the net for all 90 minutes, while allowing the single goal and collecting two saves. Janine Gordon picked up the win for FMU after going the distance in the cage, not allowing a score and tallying three saves.
Converse will be back in action on Wednesday, September 6, traveling to Hartsville, S.C. to face South Atlantic Conference foe, Coker. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.