By: Greg Peterson, Sports Editor
On Tuesday, August 1, 2017 several notable events in the world occurred. These events included Kobe Bryant posting a picture of his Dad-Bod on Instagram, the discovery of the first ever silver coin minted by the United States government, and the Furman Women’s soccer team reported to their first practice of the 2017 season.
The Paladins were picked to finish second in the Southern Conference regular season standings for the 2017 season. This prediction was done from the preseason polling of ten SoCon head coaches.
Head coach Andrew Burr is excited about this year’s team and has raved about the player’s hard work done in the off-season.
“Our players came in fit and they came into practice in-shape. They have shown maturity and have taken ownership of this team,” says Burr.
Furman soccer is coming off last season’s 13-5-1 record and loss to eventual SoCon champions Samford in the conference semifinals. The Paladins are returning nine of eleven members from last year’s squad.
Sophomore forward Treva Aycock, senior forward Molly Dwyer, senior midfielder Rachel Shah and senior defender Sanon Williams were all selected to the preseason All-SoCon roster.
Burr described Aycock, Dwyer, Shah and Williams as “blue collar workers” on the team. Their hard work in practice allows them to lead by example.
With such hard work on the field, the women’s soccer team has had one of the highest grade point averages out of all the teams at Furman.
Burr says, “Our girls work just as hard academically as they do on the field. They have a higher GPA than the average student does at Furman.”
The Paladins started their 2017 campaign against USC Upstate on Aug. 18 at Stone Soccer Stadium. Sophomore Amanda Baker scored three goals against the Spartans as the Paladins marched to victory over the Spartans, winning 6-1. Also scoring in the game was sophomore midfielder Caitlyn Reilly, senior Molly Dwyer and sophomore Treva Aycock.
The Paladins then faced opponent North Greenville University at Stone Soccer Stadium on Aug. 21. The Paladins cruised to a 6-0 victory over the Crusaders with Aycock and junior midfielder Maddie Kulik netting two goals apiece. Sophomore defender Arianna Milicia and Baker scored a goal and sophomore forward Claudia Murphy notched two assists.
However, the Paladins did face a hiccup against Presbyterian College. Furman could not find the back of the net and lost to the Blue Hose 2-0 on Thursday, Aug. 24.
On Sun., Aug. 27, the Paladins faced Big Ten opponent University of Maryland at Stone Soccer Stadium. The Paladins forced the Terrapins to a 1-1 draw. Senior forward Jenny Allen netted the Paladins sole goal.
Freshman forward Dani Moore passes the ball against a Presbyterian defender. Photo courtesy of Sammy Clough.
Sophomore forward Claudia Murphy looks to set up a cross against Presbyterian College. Photo courtesy of Sammy Clough.
Sophomore forward Amanda Baker charges to save the ball from going out of bounds. Photo courtesy of Sammy Clough.