October 9, 2012

Furman Roars From Behind To Top Clemson In Overtime, 3-2

Greenville, S.C. – Junior Michael Gandier slipped a shot past Clemson goalkeeper Cody Mizell in the third minute of overtime to complete Furman's rally from a two-goal deficit as the Paladins downed the Tigers, 3-2, before a crowd of 2,509 on Tuesday night at Stone Soccer Stadium.

With Furman on the attack in the opening minutes of overtime, Clemson scrambled to clear a loose ball out of the box only to have it fall at the feet of Gandier just in front of the penalty spot.  The Hastings, Minn., native collected the ball and fired a shot through traffic that found its way into the right-hand corner at 92:54 to give the Paladins their fourth win in their last five matches versus Clemson.

"We know every time these two teams play that it's going to be a battle and you have to be ready to play the full 90 minutes," said Furman assistant coach Anthony Esquivel, who experienced the rivalry as a player at Furman from 1999-02.  "The guys didn't quit or give up and just kept fighting to get the result tonight."

The Tigers looked headed to victory with a 2-0 lead and less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation when Coleton Henning's pass found Tony Santibanez in the box and the freshman was taken down to earn the Paladins a penalty kick at the 80:18 mark.  Martin Ontiveros hammered his shot into the right side of the net for his seventh goal of the season to slice the Clemson lead to 2-1.

Just 80 seconds later, Furman's Kevin Pahl passed to Tony Santibanez who bent a low cross into the box from deep on the right wing and Walker Zimmerman swept a shot past Mizell with a sliding effort at the top of the six-yard box for the equalizer to force overtime.

After being outshot 5-3 by Clemson in the opening 45 minutes, Furman compiled a 14-2 edge in shots the rest of the way and finished the match with an 11-4 advantage in shots on goal.

Senior Doug Ryan notched the victory in goal for Furman with two saves while Mizell stopped eight shots in the loss for the Tigers.

Clemson controlled possession in the opening half hour and went in front at 27:49 on a 50-yard shot from near midfield by Austin Savage.  The senior saw Ryan off his line and lofted a shot over his head and into the center of the net for his fourth goal of 2012.

In the 30th minute Savage picked out Preston Gayton with a pass on the right side of the box and the freshman placed a shot across the face of goal that found the far-side netting to double the Tigers' lead.

The win improved Furman to 9-2-2 on the season while Clemson slipped to 4-7-2.  The 3-2 score marked the 10th one-goal game played between the Upstate rivals in their last 11 matches with the only other match ending in a draw.  Furman, which also scored victories over the Tigers in women's soccer and volleyball already this season, moved to 3-1 versus Clemson in all sports during the 2012-13 season.

Furman continues its four-match homestand on Saturday when it hosts Appalachian State at Stone Stadium.  Kickoff against the Mountaineers is set for 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for Saturday's match 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 and can access live updates via Twitter by following @FurmanPaladins and @FurmanSoccer.