By: Greg Peterson, Sports Editor
Photo Courtesy of Furman Athletics
While most of the student body is settling into the semester, the men’s soccer team has been creating havoc and disrupting the collegiate soccer landscape and they’re only four games into the season.
The most notable game of Furman’s season so far has been against the University of Denver, which was number four in the country and was riding on a 37 game home win streak until their Sept. 1 match against Furman.
“We never talked about the win streak. We only focused on our guys,” said head coach Doug Allison when talking about the mindset the team had going into the game.
The game was knotted at zero at the end of regulation, and it was not until double overtime that sophomore midfielder Rocky Guerra’s run from the right wing found Danny Kierath who booted the ball into the goal with 1:19 play, giving Furman a 1-0 victory.
The Paladins are currently 5-0-0 and are ranked No. 10 in the Soccer America Top 25 poll. Their undefeated record includes huge road victories over perennial powerhouses Denver and Air Force.
Head coach Doug Allison is in his 22nd season as head coach for the Paladins, and feels that this year’s team is doing a fine job so far.
“I like the attitude and leadership of the team. Our captains (Kyle McLagan and Kevin Edelman) and senior leadership of the team have done a lot of good things for the team,” said Allison.
The Paladins began the season by playing at The College of Charleston, which was the highest scoring game Furman has been in so far this season. The College of Charleston began with an early lead, scoring in only the third minute of the game. Junior Connor Hubbard netted the equalizer at the 43:04 mark, and both teams went into halftime with the 1-1 tie.
After CofC scored on what seemed like the potential game winner at the 82:22 mark, 173 seconds later, junior midfielder Danny Kierath’s free kick found sophomore midfielder Conor Sloan whose header found the back of the net, making the game 2-2.
With 1:08 left in regulation, the Paladins earned a corner kick and Kierath set up senior captain Kevin Edelmann, whose header made the game 3-2 and completed the Paladins rally from a 2-1 deficit.
All of the other games the Paladins have played this season have been binary 1-0 victories. The Paladins won their first home game against UNC Asheville, 4-0.
Despite the hot start and all of the national recognition, head coach Doug Allison is not focused on any specific awards or goals.
“All I told the team is that I want for them to give me their best everyday. I am not setting any specific goals,” Allison explained. “If we can get five percent better each week, then we will do some great things.”
The Paladins are back in action at Presbyterian College on Sat., Sept. 16 in Clinton, S.C.
Sophomore midfielder Conor Sloan goes in for a header against UNC Asheville. The Paladins won their home opener and blanked the Bulldogs, 4-0.