By: Charlie Lott, Staff Writer
Furman managed to put their streak of four losses behind them Saturday, Oct. 14 against the VMI Keydets. A 5-0 victory in which the Paladins were dominant throughout is exactly the kind of pick-me-up game needed to get back in the wins column. Furman’s 19 shots on goal to VMI’s zero shows exactly how well the team played both defensively and offensively.
Both junior midfielder Josiah Baker and junior midfielder Laurence Wyke netted two goals apiece, while junior forward Aigbekan Nosegbe found the back of the net as well. The win over the Keydets was their first victory since beating the Keydets in Stone Soccer Stadium on Sept. 26.
Prior to their victory over VMI, the Paladins have dropped four of the last seven games to bring their record to 9-4-2 after starting the season 8-0. Their most recent loss came last Tuesday to the Wofford Terriers in the third annual “Quinn Game,” which celebrated the daughter of a former Paladin soccer player and supports the cause of Down Syndrome Awareness.
The match opened well for Furman, with the team holding possession well and manufacturing a handful of scoring opportunities. A few sloppy moments on the back line allowed what few shots the Terriers managed, until one through ball finally caused some damage. The streaking Wofford forward was caught just outside the box by Paladin defender Kyle McLagan, prompting a controversial foul that became a red card after McLagan let out his frustration known towards the official. Furman was forced to play down a man for the remainder of the game.
Despite being outnumbered for the better part of game, the Paladins still managed to hold their own, albeit more on the defensive end for the second half. However, with only ten men on the field the defense felt the pressure and Wofford was able to counter against an exhausted Furman team and sneak a ball past keeper Ben Hale, giving the Terriers a 1-0 lead.
This loss marks just the fourth of the season, all of which have come in the last seven games. This streak of poor results begs the question: what has changed since the stellar 8-0 start to the season? Granted, most of the losses have been very close. Three of the four games were decided by only a single score, and the fourth game the Paladins only lost by two goals.
The Paladins will try to keep up the solid play at the Mercer Bears this Tuesday the 17th at 7:00 p.m. in Stone Soccer Stadium.