Hartsville, S.C. – The #23 ranked Coker soccer team took on cross-town rival Francis Marion University on Tuesday night in a battle for the ages. Both the Cobras and the Patriots played about as even a match as possible, so even in fact, that at the end of two overtime periods and 110 minutes of play no clear winner could be determined, as Coker and Francis Marion tied 1-1.
The non-conference tie moves the Cobras to 7-0-1, with FMU moving to 4-2-1 on the year.
The first half of the match saw little action, with each team battling to keep possession for more than a few touches. Then in the second half the Patriots were finally able to crack the Cobra defense. In the 53rd minute Adrian Williams (Ajax, Ontatio) put home a one-timer off a direct kick from Adrian Sikorski (Inglewood, Ontatio), putting the FMU up 1-0.
Almost 10 minutes later in the 62nd minute Coker took advantage of their own direct kick. The Cobras were awarded a direct kick just outside the 18 yard box and after placing a shot on frame, Patriot’s goalkeeper Clark Richardson (Mansfield, Texas) mishandled the ball and the Cobras Marc Mergena (Pot-au-Prince, Haiti) tipped the ball just over the goal line, tying the game at one apiece.
During the next 28 minutes of regulation each team had their fair share of opportunities to take the lead, including a Chris Foltanski (Long Valley, N.J.) header that clanged off the post for the Patriots and an Eric Stiefield (Eustis, Fla.) shot that also bounced off the post for the Cobras.
In 20 minutes of overtime, both teams battled back and forth, but in the end neither team was able to put home the winner.
Coker’s keeper James Sweeney (Huntington, Md.) had two saves, while FMU’s Richardson had five saves with the Cobras outshooting the Patriots 12-7.
Coker returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 26 when they host #4 ranked Lees-McRae at 4:00 p.m., while FMU travels to Georgia Southwestern at 3:30 p.m.