WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Second-seeded and seventh-ranked Palm Beach Atlantic University took advantage of a pair of penalty kicks, one in each half, to rally for a 2-1 victory over seventh-seeded Francis Marion University, Sunday afternoon (Nov. 24) in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Tournament.
The Patriots of first-year head coach Luis Rincon see their historic season come to an end with a 16-5-1 record. Francis Marion, winners of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament, were looking to win two matches in the national tournament for the first time, in this the Patriots' third trip to the tournament and first since 2008.
PBA (15-3-2) advances to the national Round of 16 in Boca Raton, Fla., in two weeks.
The Sailfish outshot FMU 17-8, but only six of the attempts were on target and two of those were from the penalty spot. PBC held a slight advantage in corner kicks 4-2.
FMU All-Region goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco made make four saves, but only two of a difficulty variety as the Patriot defense handled the Sailfish attack relatively well. Rocco did make a kick save of a 5-yard point-blank shot by PBA's Simone Pacielli in the 87th minute as Francis Marion was pushing players forward.
Sailfish goalkeeper Patrick Nettekoven also registered four saves.
FMU freshman Álvaro Zamora, another All-Region selection, posted a shot in the second minute that went wide of the PBA goal. All-Region midfielder Travis Cooke, one of only two seniors on the Patriot roster, did dent the scoreboard at 26:06 as he controlled a free kick by sophomore Oliver Peters and scored on a 10-yard attempt.
Zamora sent a dangerous cross into the penalty area in the 29th minute that just missed FMU sophomore forward Javier Bello.
Following a Patriot foul in the 34th minute that gave Palm Beach Atlantic a free kick on the left side, Gian Scalise sent the ball into the box were Rocco attempted to clear the ball, but instead fouled Thomas Spear. Scalise stepped to the spot and converted the penalty kick. Rocco guessed the correct direction, but the shot was into the upper netting outside his reach. That was the only shot on target over the opening 45 minutes for the Sailfish.
In the 55th minute, a Patriot was whistled for a foul on PBA's Quenzi Huerman in the outer right corner of the penalty area. This time Claudio Rivadeneira took the PK and beat Rocco to his left giving the Sailfish a 2-1 lead.
Moments later, Cooke took a shot at the other end that was deflected out for a Patriot corner kick. Following the corner by Peters, Santiago had a 20-yard attempt that went high over the crossbar. Bello sent a dangerous ball into the box in the 64th minute, but the PBA defense was able to clear the ball.
Zamora forced a save by Nettekoven near the left post with a 22-yard attempt at 64:46 and FMU sophomore Nestor Nunez's left-footed 15-yard shot in the 78th minute was again smothered by Nettekoven at the left post.
A left-footed 23-yard bending shot by Zamora was saved at the right post, and after a short clearance by PBA in the 86th minute, Peters tried to repeat his game-winning shot of Friday's first round, but this time his 25-yard attempt was stopped by Nettekoven in the center of the goal.
The team's 16 victories is the third highest total in program history behind a pair of 17-win seasons in 1999 and 2000. The Patriots spent six weeks nationally ranked this season, including three weeks in the Top 10.
#7 Palm Beach Atl. (15-3-2) def. Francis Marion Univ. (16-5-1) 2-1.
Date: 11/24/19 Attendance: 200
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Francis Marion Univ. 1 0 - 1
Palm Beach Atl...... 1 1 - 2
1-0. 26:06 FMU Travis Cooke (7) (Oliver Peters) free kick from left side into box
1-1. 33:38 PBA Gian Scalise (2) (unassisted) PK
2-1. 54:17 PBA Claudio Rivadeneira (8) (unassisted) PK
Shots: Francis Marion Univ. 8, Palm Beach Atl. 17 ; Saves: Francis Marion 4 (Maximiliano Rocco 4), Palm Beach Atl. 4 (Patrick Nettekoven 4)
NCAA II National Tournament second-round match