Spartanburg, S.C. – Junior Michael Gandier scored in double overtime to give Furman a 4-3 victory over Wofford on Saturday night at Snyder Field and clinch a home match for the Paladins in the quarterfinal round of next week's Southern Conference Men's Soccer Championship.
With the regular season finale knotted at 3-3 in the second 10-minute overtime period, the Paladins fired a shot that Wofford goalkeeper Andrew Drennan spilled into the path of Gandier and the midfielder buried the rebound into the back of the net at 107:59 for his fifth goal of the season.
The triumph, Furman's second SoCon win of the week, helped the Paladins finish the regular season at 12-3-3 overall and 4-2-1 in the league. Wofford slipped to 9-8-0 overall and 2-4-0 in the SoCon. Furman will open SoCon Tournament play on Saturday, November 3, as either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed against a yet to be determined opponent. Kickoff for next Saturday's match on Seagraves Field at Stone Stadium is set for 6 p.m.
Wofford got the match off to a quick start in the third minute. Drennan stopped a Furman shot and punted the ball into the path of Ryan Hurst who played the ball around Paladin goalkeeper Sven Lissek and finished into an open net to put the Terriers in front, 1-0.
In the ninth minute, Danny Hojaij curled a corner kick into the box and Gandier headed past Drennan to equalize at the 8:33 mark with his first goal of the night. Furman made another set piece pay off just minutes later to take a 2-1 lead. Martin Ontiveros played a corner kick to the near post and sophomore defender Walker Zimmerman hammered a driven header into the net for his sixth goal of 2012 at 16:38.
Wofford pulled level before intermission from the penalty spot. Forrest Lasso was taken down in the box on a Terrier corner kick and Alex Hutchins converted into the left-hand corner from the spot in the 44th minute.
In the second half, it took only six minutes for the game's fifth goal to be scored. Coleton Henning found the back of the net off another corner to give Furman a 3-2 lead at 50:23. Ontiveros, who notched his second assist of the night and third of the season, sent the kick into the box and found an unmarked Henning who scored with a well struck header.
The Terriers rebounded from a deficit again in the 74th minute when Nestor Jaramillo assisted on Lasso's fourth goal of the year. Jaramillo sent a free kick into the box that Lasso was able to flick past Lissek and in at the far post. Wofford nearly won the game in the 88th minute but Lissek was able to save Billy Padula's shot from just over ten yards out.
In the first overtime period, the Terriers dominated play as they outshot the Paladins 4-0 and took the period's only corner. Connor Davis almost gave Wofford the comeback victory in the 99th minute but Lissek was able to make a diving stop to keep the score tied. In the second overtime period, Wofford controlled the majority of the play, but Lissek recorded two more saves to keep Furman in the game prior to Gandier's match winner.
Lissek notched nine saves to earn the victory in goal while Drennan turned away eight shots in the loss for Wofford. The Paladins finished with a 23-16 shots edge with each team recording 12 shots on goal.
Fans can follow live statistics of next Saturday's SoCon Tournament match by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com and can access live updates via Twitter by following @FurmanPaladins and @FurmanSoccer.