By: Greg Peterson, Sports Editor
On a cold and windy Sunday afternoon, the Furman women’s soccer team overcame a 1-0 deficit to defeat the ETSU Buccaneers 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference tournament at Stone Soccer Stadium.
The Buccaneers found the back of the net first, with ETSU forward Eleonora Goldoni connecting on a free kick at the 20:29 mark. The free kick was a result of the Paladins handball 18 yards away from the goal.
After trading several possessions, the Paladins kept trying to create scoring opportunities and received a free kick about 15 minutes after the Bucs score. Senior Rachel Shah put the ball into play from about 25 yards out and found the upper left side of the goal at the 34:54 mark, which was her third goal of the season. The Paladins continued attacking the goal, and less than five minutes later, they were awarded another free kick.
This time, sophomore Jordan Evans was called upon to put the ball into play, and booted it from 40 yards away through traffic to the back of the goal, putting the Paladins up 2-1 with 15:24 left in the first half.
Sophomore goalkeeper and two-time SoCon Player of the Week Kellsey Weaver recorded one save with two ETSU shots on goal. Although Weaver allowed one goal, this is only the second goal that she has allowed in the past 57 days.
The Paladins (13-2-2) entered the SoCon tournament with the number one overall seed and were fresh off their heels of winning the eighth regular season title in program history. The Bucs (6-13-0) came into the match fresh off of a victory over the Wofford Terriers in the first round of the SoCon tournament. Going into the quarterfinal, the Paladins were undefeated in conference play (8-0-1) and had only given up one goal against SoCon opponents.
When asked about their regular season success, head coach Andrew Burr praised the team’s hard work.
“It is a lot of work: offseason training and early morning fitness,” Burr said. “Often times when you work hard you don’t get the reward. So, it is exciting when you get the reward sometimes. It is a good lesson for our players that patience, hard work, and sacrifice pays off.”
The Paladins seeking their next victory on Friday, Nov. 3 at 6:00 p.m. against number five seed Western Carolina in the SoCon tournament semifinals in Birmingham, Alabama.