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Furman Blanks North Florida In Season Opener, 2-0

Irravadee Makris
Irravadee Makris

Greenville, S.C. -- Freshman Stephanie DeVita and junior Dee Makris each tallied second half goals to lead Furman to a 2-0 victory over the University of North Florida in the women's soccer regular season opener for both schools before a crowd of 2,292 on Friday evening at Stone Soccer Stadium.

"What a great way to start the season and what tremendous support from our fans tonight," said Paladin coach Andrew Burr, following the shutout.  "I thought our back line did an outstanding job and we had a solid team effort for our first game.  We'll try to build on that as we head to Georgia on Sunday."

After a scoreless first half in which Furman fashioned a 6-0 edge in shot attempts, DeVita opened the scoring by dribbling across the top of the box and lining a shot that slipped through the hands of UNF keeper Rachel Beninati and into the back of the net from 25 yards out at the 60:34 mark.

With less than nine minutes remaining, Furman won a free kick almost 30 yards out directly in front of goal.  Hannah Stanifer placed a shot to the right-hand side that Beninati pushed off of the right post, but Makris tapped in the rebound to double to Paladin lead at 81:30.

Freshman Rose Hull notched the shutout in her first collegiate game, recording one save on the night.  Furman held a 13-6 edge in shot attempts, including a 6-1 advantage in shots on goal.  The Paladin defense thwarted the Osprey attack on multiple occasions in the final minutes as UNF earned six second half corner kicks but attempted just one shot on goal.

Furman (1-0-0) returns to action on Sunday afternoon when it travels to Athens, Ga., to face the Georgia Bulldogs.  Kickoff at Turner Stadium is set for 2 p.m.

Fans can follow all of Sunday's action with the live streaming internet broadcast at www.FurmanPaladins.com.  Bryant Lambert will provide the play-by-play with Andrew Barksdale handling the color commentary.  Live stats for the 2 p.m. match will also be available.