Bulldogs nip Patriots in D1 Independents Tournament

FLORENCE, SC – Junior midfielder Justine Zepeda scored once and assisted on a second goal to lead South Carolina State University to a 3-1 win over Francis Marion University, Friday night (Oct. 30) in the second semifinal match of the 2015 NCAA Division I Independents Women's Soccer Tournament.

The home-standing Patriots drop 3-15-0 and will face Hampton University in the third-place match on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. (PLEASE NOTE THE EARLIER START TME).

Delaware State University defeated Hampton 11-0 in Friday's opening semifinal match.  The Hornets will face S.C. State in the championship match on Sunday at 2 p.m. on FMU's Hartzler Field.

Prior to its match on Friday, Francis Marion honored its six seniors.  Senior defender Kylie Allen celebrated the occasion by scoring in the 89th minute.  She headed in a corner kick from senior Shauna Griffin that the Bulldogs failed to clear out of the penalty area.

After a scoreless first half, Zepeda got S.C. State on the scoreboard at the 54:46 mark.  Amid a wild scramble in the 6-yard box for an Alexandria Trujillo corner kick, Zepeda knocked the loose ball in.

Six minutes later, her pass to the left wing resulted in a score by Naydeen Cabalo.  The Bulldogs' advantage grew to 3-0 at the 82:34 mark when Valery Fernandez-Davila headed in a Trujillo corner kick.

FMU managed to trim the margin to 3-1 on Allen's third career score, but were unable to get off another shot.

S.C. State outshot the Patriots 18-13, while FMU led in corner kicks 7-4.

FMU senior goalkeeper Taylor O'Berry, making her 70th straight career start, registered 10 saves, while Bulldog senior Haley Austin made five stops.

In addition to the above-mentioned FMU seniors, defenders Janise Finney, Kristyn Leung, and Arianna Pierner were also honored before the match.

Griffin nearly put Francis Marion on the board in the second minute of the match as she tried to chip a shot from 40 yards out over Austin who had strayed from her line.  However, the attempt from the right wing sailed just outside the upper left corner.

O'Berry kept the contest scoreless in the 35th minute when she made a leaping save of a shot by Tierra Pullard and pushed it over the crossbar.

Six minutes after halftime, again Griffin almost gave FMU a lead.  She took a chip pass from junior Kelly Anthony and shot toward the left post, but Austin came up with the diving save. Less than a minute later at the other end, O'Berry stoned Fernandez-Davila from point-blank range to keep the score at 0-0.

South Carolina State (2-10-1) def. Francis Marion Univ. (3-15-0) 3-1
Date: Oct 30, 2015  Attendance: 100
Weather: Clear, 70 degrees, Winds N @ 5 mph


Goals by period          1  2  Tot
South Carolina State  0  3 -  3
Francis Marion Univ.  0  1 -  1


1.  54:46 SCSU ZEPEDA,Justine (3) (TRUJILLO,Alexandria) - Scramble in 6-yard box after corner kick, knocked in
2.  60:39 SCSU CABALO,Naydeen (1) (ZEPEDA,Justine) - Pass to #5 and she shoots from left to far post
3.  82:34 SCSU FERNANDEZ-DAVILA,Val (2) (TRUJILLO,Alexandria) - Header in 6-yard box off corner kick
4.  88:02 FMU_W Kylie Allen (2) (Shauna Griffin) - Header off sequence following corner kick


Shots: South Carolina State 18, Francis Marion Univ. 13 ; Saves: South Carolina State 6 (AUSTIN,Haley 5; TEAM 1), Francis Marion  Univ. 10 (Taylor O'Berry 10)
NCAA Division I Independents Tournament semifinals