Spartanburg S.C. – Tyler Peoples scored on a diving header in the 89th minute to lift 23rd-ranked Furman over USC Upstate, 1-0, in non-conference men's soccer action on Friday evening at County University Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C.
With time winding down in regulation, Clint Ritter and Tony Santibanez combined to set up Eric Steber with a pass down the right wing. The redshirt freshman took the ball to the end line and played a low cross to the near post that Peoples headed between Spartan goalkeeper Dani Alvarado and the right post at the 88:19 mark for his first collegiate goal.
"It was a tough game with chances at either end," said Furman head coach Doug Allison. "Their keeper played very well, but its an away win with a shutout. The game is 90 minutes and it doesn't matter when you get the goal as long as you get it. It's great for Tyler to get his first collegiate goal."
Furman (6-1-1) dominated the chances in the opening half, building a 9-1 edge in shots at intermission. Both teams created dangerous opportunities in the final 45 minutes. Upstate's Dave Musambi missed narrowly on a pair of free kicks just outside the Furman box and saw his driving shot from the left side of the box pushed wide by a diving Doug Ryan midway through the period. Ryan was called on minutes later when Taylor Scalera got in behind the Paladin defense, but the 6-foot-8 stopper came off his line to smother the close range shot.
Martin Ontiveros tested Alvarado with several free kicks and set up a header for an unmarked Chris Duggan that flashed wide of the far post in the 70th minute. Coleton Henning and Ontiveros also had shots saved from inside the 18-yard box before Peoples finished the game-winner with 1:41 remaining in regulation.
Ryan totaled three stops to earn his third shutout of the season while Alvarado recorded 10 saves for the Spartans (2-4-1).
Furman finished with a 20-10 edge in total shots and 11-3 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams earned two corner kicks in the contest.
Furman returns home on Sunday when it hosts Atlantic Sun Conference member North Florida in a 4 p.m. contest at Stone Soccer Stadium. Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for children. Furman students receive free admission with a valid student ID.
Fans can follow live statistics and live streaming video for the match by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com. Live updates will be available on Twitter by following @FurmanPaladins and @FurmanSoccer.