By: Charlie Lott, Staff Writer
The Furman women’s soccer team had its third victory in a row with a dominant 3-0 performance at home against VMI Friday night. This brings the Paladins’ season record to 6-3-1.
The game was off to a fast start with a goal inside the first two minutes. Senior forward Molly Dwyer was led on with a beautiful bouncing through ball from sophomore midfielder Caitlyn Reilly, which she controlled off the volley and sent into the back of the net. Furman did not let up, sending numbers forward and pressing their advantage early.
The second goal came only six minutes later, with Dwyer again getting loose inside the box and drilling a shot home from a tough angle just off the left post. Up 2-0, the Paladins started to sit back a bit, finally allowing VMI to press into their defensive third. The remainder of the half was largely give and take, with neither team creating any scoring opportunities.
According to Dwyer, the team needs to try and maintain the level of excitement from those first few minutes throughout the game. “What we need to work on is keeping the energy. We scored a minute and a half into the game, and we need to keep that energy throughout the half and throughout the second half,” explains Dwyer. “Getting that third, fourth, and fifth goal, and just closing out the game, that’s really important.”
Furman came out of halftime with one goal in mind: put the game to bed. They did just that in the 54th minute when junior defender Virginia Poe headed home a corner from senior midfielder Rachel Shah to put the Paladins up three. Furman continued their offensive movement, but with no success, and the game finished with a score of 3-0.
The game extended the Paladins’ win streak to three, surrendering no goals in that span with a 6-0 victory over South Carolina State and a 2-0 win at Kennesaw State. Head coach Andrew Burr attributes the team’s success to leadership and chemistry. “We’ve got really good senior leadership. We’ve got two captains, Rachel Shah and Abby DeMare, that are leaders on the field, but more importantly they’re good leaders off the field,” says Burr. “A big part of what we’re trying to do right now as we’re coming into the middle portion of our season is to fine-tune the chemistry, and having captains who can provide leadership is a big part of that.”
Furman continued its win streak against UNCG, shutting out the Spartans 2-0 on Sunday, Sept. 24. The Paladins will be back in action against Mercer on Friday, Sept. 29.