Furman eliminates UNCG with 1-0 overtime victory in SoCon semifinals
GREENVILLE, SC – Furman midfielder Rachel Fry netted the golden goal with 30 second remaining in the first overtime to lift the second-seeded and tournament host Paladins to a 1-0 victory over UNC Greensboro in the semifinals of the SoCon Women's Soccer Championship on Friday night at Stone Stadium.
UNCG (11-7-1) featured the first realistic scoring opportunity of the opening half as Deven Beachum nearly scored her fifth goal of the season in the 21st minute of play. From the left side of the field, Dacia Beachum sent a cross to the feet of her sister Deven which chased Paladin keeper Andie Hinshaw out of goal, but a Furman defender raced in to make a sliding save just before Deven Beachum could fire the ball into the back of the open net.
Furman (14-5-2) nearly scored the game’s first goal just before intermission, but squandered a scoring chance with less than three minutes remaining in the stanza. Following a Spartan foul on the Paladin side of the field, Furman midfielder Gena Villari sent a cross into the middle of the UNCG box to the head of Fry. Fry fired a clean shot at goal, but directly into the hands of Spartan keeper Jennifer Stillman, leaving the score nodded 0-0 at the half.
Only five shots were taken in the first half, with Furman holding a 3-2 edge. Both teams were limited to but two corner kicks.
In a second half that comprised of virtually no scoring chances, the Spartans sent the best shot on goal midway through the period. Sophomore Mary Kate Towne fired a 25 yard blast that Hinshaw bobbled and recovered just before UNCG could corral the rebound.
With less than five minutes remaining in regulation, Furman failed to capitalize on its best scoring chance of the half. Paladin forward Emily Krankowski dribbled down the right side of the field and played a perfect ball to the feet of Andre’a Morrison five yards in front of the Spartan net. With just the goal and the keeper in front of her, Morrison sent a one touch shot five feet over the UNCG crossbar, ultimately sending the contest into overtime.
Fry struck for the game-winner just before the conclusion of the first overtime, scoring off a feed from Villari. The combo hooked up when Villari sent a ball into the UNCG box where Fry connected on a header at the 99:30 mark that just snuck past the arms of the outstretched Stillman.
With the win, Furman moves on to face fourth-seeded Western Carolina in the finals Sunday afternoon at 1 pm. The Catamounts earned their berth in the championship game with a 2-0 upset win over No. 1 seed Davidson.
1 2 OT
UNC Greensboro 0 0 0 0
Furman 0 0 1 1
1. 99:30 FUR Rachel Fry (4) (Gena Villari) - Header off cross
Shots: UNC Greensboro 10, Furman 9
Saves: UNC Greensboro 3 (Jennifer Stillman 3), Furman 7 (Andie Hinshaw 7)
- UNCG -