Davidson, N.C. – Junior Hannah Stanifer and freshman Stephanie DeVita each netted first half goals as Furman blanked Davidson, 2-0, on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Stadium to clinch a top four finish in the Southern Conference standings and an opening round home match in next weekend's SoCon Women's Soccer Tournament.
The 2-0 triumph, Furman's fourth straight win and fourth straight shutout, improved the Paladins to 13-3-2 overall and 6-2-2 in SoCon play. The Wildcats dropped to 7-8-3 overall and 5-4-1 inside the league.
Furman opened the scoring in the 17th minute on Stanifer's fifth goal of the season. DeVita played a long cross from the left to the far side of the box and Stanifer headed her back-post shot across the face of goal past Davidson goalkeeper Rachel Locke at the 16:46 mark.
After India Robinson hit the post in the 20th minute and Stanifer had a goal-bound header saved off of the line by the Wildcats' defense in the 24th minute, Furman upped its lead to 2-0 at the 30:25 mark on DeVita's SoCon-leading 18th goal of the season. The Simpsonville, S.C., native fired a shot on goal that was saved by Locke before pouncing on the rebound to poke in her second goal of the weekend. DeVita's 18 goals rank her second in the nation behind Minnesota's Taylor Uhl (19) who netted a hat trick on Sunday.
Furman outshot the Wildcats 19-3 in the first half, but were forced to defend over the final 45 minutes as Davidson fashioned an 8-4 shots edge in the second period. Freshman goalkeeper Rose Hull, who posted her seventh shutout of the season, answered the Wildcat attack with three of her four saves in the period to stretch the Paladins shutout run to 391:32 dating back to October 7.
The Paladins finished with a 23-11 shots advantage and six corner kicks to Davidson's two. Locke recorded six saves for the Wildcats.
Sunday's win was Furman's third straight versus Davidson and upped its series lead over the Wildcats to 19-8-3.
The Paladins conclude regular season play on Wednesday when they travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to face Wofford. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Furman will host its SoCon Tournament opening round match on Sunday, October 28.
Fans can follow live statistics for the regular season finale by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com and can access live updates via Twitter by following @FurmanPaladins.