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Furman Advances Past UAB In Penalty Shootout In NCAA Opening Round

Sven Lissek
Sven Lissek
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Birmingham, Ala. -- Junior Sven Lissek stopped two shots in a penalty kick shootout following Furman's 1-1 draw with UAB on Thursday night at West Campus Field to help the Paladins advance, 4-3, to the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship.

The Paladins will travel to face the nationally-ranked Washington Huskies in round two on Sunday in Seattle, Wash.  The kickoff between the Paladins and Huskies is slated for 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST.

Both Furman (12-5-4) and UAB (11-7-2) converted its first two penalty kicks as Freddy Ruiz and Diego Navarette found the back of the net for the Blazers and Clint Ritter and Lewis Hawke finished for the Paladins.  In the third round, UAB's Alex Clay fired to the left corner, but Lissek dove to push the shot wide.  Tony Santibanez scored to give Furman the lead after three rounds before Ian Svantesson and Kevin Pahl traded makes in the fourth round.

With the match on the line, the Blazers' Rami Dajani fired low to the left, but Lissek stopped the shot with a diving effort to set off the Paladins celebration.  

"I'm just so proud of the kids," said Furman head coach Doug Allison.  " I told them Sven would be good for two saves.  Coach Charlie Arndt has worked so hard with Sven and he was unbelievable for us."

UAB grabbed the lead at the 13:43 mark as Svantesson rose above the Paladin defense to nod Clay's free kick past Lissek and into the left side of the net.  The goal marked the fourth of the season for Svantesson.

Furman pulled even at the 37:53 mark on sophomore Hawke's ninth goal of the season.  Santibanez received a pass deep on the left side and lined a left-footed cross to the back post that Hawke dove to power past UAB goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky.

Both teams had their opportunities to break the deadlock in the second half.  Furman's Bobby Edet took a headed pass from Hawke on a counter attack in the 48th minute, but his shot from near the top of the box was scooped up by Kuzminsky.

In the 59th minute, Pahl dribbled around the left side into the UAB box and went to the ground, but the Paladins' appeals for a penalty kick were waved off.  The Blazers turned up the pressure late in the period and created several chances on the counter attack.  Lissek came off of his line to deflect one shot out for a corner kick in the 75th minute before collecting a loose ball when the UAB corner kick moments later deflected off several players inside the six-yard box.

Lissek finished with fives saves in regulation in addition to his two stops in the shootout.  UAB's Kuzminsky turned away two Paladins shots on the night.

The Blazers held a 13-4 edge in shots and 6-3 advantage in shots on goal.

The shootout triumph marked the first penalty kick shootout for the Paladins since advancing past VCU, 5-4, in the second round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament.  The tournament win was the first for Furman since downing Campbell in opening round action in 2007.

Log onto later this weekend for info on Sunday's second round match, including links to video and live statistics from Seattle.

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information