Falcons begin postseason with home match against Francis Marion

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo men’s soccer team will host Francis Marion University in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference tournament Nov. 1, which marks the school’s third consecutive season to host the Patriots in the opening round of the conference tournament.

The Falcons earned the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and will host Francis Marion, the No. 7 seed. The match kicks off at 7 p.m.

Montevallo defeated Francis Marion 2-1 in overtime in 2009 in the opening round. The Falcons won 2-0 last season en route to the 2010 Peach Belt Conference tournament championship. The Patriots upset the Falcons, who were ranked No. 24 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s NCAA Division II poll at the time, earlier this season 2-0 in Florence, S.C.

The game will be webcast via Montevallo’s UStream channel at Ustream.tv/MontevalloAthletics. Admission to the game is $5 for adults, $3 for children and $3 for non-students. Montevallo students will be admitted free with a valid school ID.

The winner of the quarterfinal match will advance to the Peach Belt Conference semifinals Nov. 4 at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga. The championship match will be played Nov. 6 at Blanchard Woods.

The Falcons (10-3-4 overall, 5-1-2 in Peach Belt Conference) are led by junior Shane Howard, an Old Dominion University transfer, who has seven goals on the season. Howard is tied for eighth in the Peach Belt Conference in goals scored this season.

Senior Phil Jackson, who is tied for third in the conference with five assists, also has five goals on the season. Sophomore goalkeeper Brendan Ledgeway leads the conference with a .814 save percentage and 0.70 goals against average.

Francis Marion (4-12-1 overall, 2-5-1 in Peach Belt Conference) is led in scoring by sophomore forward Alex Blandin, who ranks second in the conference with nine goals scored. Freshman goalkeeper Nick Lucido, who owns a 2.36 goals against average, will likely mind the net for the Patriots. He was in goal for the Patriots’ shutout against the Falcons in the regular season and recorded four saves in the victory.

Montevallo is 14-11-1 all-time in conference tournament action, including 4-1 in Peach Belt Conference tournament play. Montevallo claimed its first Peach Belt Conference title last season. Francis Marion has an all-time Peach Belt Conference tournament record of 11-18-2, including the 1999 and 2008 tournament championships.