FLORENCE, S.C. – The 16th-ranked Lander men's soccer used a Jordan Skelton penalty kick in the 46th minute to beat Francis Marion, 1-0, in the Peach Belt Conference opener for both teams on Saturday night.
The win marked the third conseuctive shutout for Lander (6-0, 1-0 PBC) and the fourth of the season for the Bearcats. Lander extended its unbeaten streak in PBC regular season play to 20 matches.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the opening 45 minutes, but Lander created an opportunity just 45 seconds into the second half when Sinclaire Sandy was tackled from behind in the box. Jordan Skelton smashed the ensuing penalty kick into the bottom left corner, but was called for shooting before the whistle. Tasked with another kick, Skelton beat FMU keeper Kristoffer Gregenaes with a shot to the upper-left of the net, giving Lander a 1-0 lead. The goal was Skelton's fourth of the season and the 22nd consecutive made penalty kick by the Bearcats.
Lander was forced to play the final 12 minutes a man down when Oakley Hanger drew his second yellow card of the night at the 77:43 mark. Francis Marion (1-4, 0-1 PBC) in the final minute with a free kick into the box, but a last-second header sailed wide right for the Patriots.
Making his collegiate debut, Jacob Withers made one save in goal for the Bearcats to earn the shutout.
Lander steps out of conference play on Wednesday night as the Bearcats travel to Queens for a 7:30 p.m. match.