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Kierath’s Overtime Free Kick Lifts Furman Soccer Over Mercer, 2-1

Danny Kierath netted the game-winning goal and added an assist in Furman's 2-1 overtime win at Mercer on Tuesday.
Danny Kierath netted the game-winning goal and added an assist in Furman's 2-1 overtime win at Mercer on Tuesday.

Macon, Ga. -- Junior Danny Kierath curled a free kick past Mercer goalkeeper Jeremy Booth in the 95th minute to lift Furman to a 2-1 road victory over the Bears in Southern Conference men's soccer action on Tuesday evening in Macon, Ga.

After Mercer's Rooby Dalusma's shot early in the extra period was knocked wide of the post and a second effort from Dalusma flashed wide of the right post moments later, the Paladins grabbed all three points at the 94:36 mark on Kierath's second goal of the season. An attempted chip into the box hit Mercer's Jacob Chadwell in the chest, but the Bears' defender was whistled for a handball. Kierath stepped up and curled his left-footed attempt from about 23 yards out over the wall and into the right-hand side of the net to improve the Paladins to 9-4-2 overall and 3-2-2 in SoCon play.

"We got two outstanding goals tonight from Cole and Danny against a very tough opponent," said Paladin head coach Doug Allison. "I thought we were very positive in our play in the second half and it helped us to pick up our second straight SoCon win. This is the right time of year to be picking up points."

Furman took the early lead only 2:40 into the match when Cole McLagan flicked a header over the goalkeeper and inside the far, right post off of a cross from the left corner by Kierath. The goal was the fourth score of the season for McLagan.

Mercer (5-6-4, 3-2-2) answered in the 17th minute. Leonel Toledo Jr. sent a cross through the box towards the right post and Connor Antley beat his defender to head his shot inside the near upright at the 16:19 mark.

Furman dominated much of the possession in the second half, but neither team was able to turn many shots on goal. Hale denied Martin Ramos on a 67th minute header with a leaping save before Booth turned away Furman's Laurence Wyke with a save in the 77th minute. Another dangerous chance by Furman on a three-versus-two break was nullified by the offside flag.

The Paladins posted a 14-10 advantage in total shots and a 4-3 margin in shots on goal for the match. Both Hale and Booth finished with a pair of saves as the Paladins improved to 1-0-1 on the season versus the Bears.

Furman returns home on Saturday when it entertains SoCon leader ETSU in a 7 p.m. match on Seagraves Field at Stone Stadium. Tickets for the match are $5 and can be purchased online at FurmanPaladins.com or at the Stone Stadium gate beginning one hour prior to kickoff. The first 100 fans through the gate on Saturday night will receive a Furman soccer scarf.

The match will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network with live statistics provided through StatBroadcast. Fans can log onto FurmanPaladins.com for links to the live stream and live statistics for Saturday's match.



Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information