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Georgia Southern Claims SoCon Title Over Furman On Penalty Kicks

Rose Hull
Rose Hull

Birmingham, Ala. – Georgia Southern edged Furman on penalty kicks, 5-4 to capture the Southern Conference Women's Soccer title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament following a 0-0 draw on Sunday at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium in Birmingham, Ala.

In the sixth round of penalty kicks, Furman goalkeeper Rose Hull stopped Cori Dulmage's low shot.  With Furman needing a conversion to win, India Robinson fired her spot kick off of the cross bar to send the shootout to a seventh round.  Sydnie Van Curen buried her shot to put GSU ahead and Ali Simpson's shot slammed into the cross bar to give the Eagles the SoCon title.

"This is a heartbreaking way to lose and have our season come to an end," said Paladin head coach Andrew Burr.  "Georgia Southern deserves a lot of credit for the way they played."

Georgia Southern goalkeeper Katie Merson recorded six saves over 110 minutes to keep the Eagles in the match and earn tournament MVP honors.  After a scoreless first half, Merson was called on to make a pair of diving saves to deny Stephanie DeVita a go-ahead goal, and she turned away a Hannah Stanifer header late in the match to force overtime.

After two scoreless 10-minute periods, each team converted its first three penalty kicks before GSU's McKenna Storey pulled her shot wide of the post in the fourth round.  Alyssa Althoff missed for Furman to keep the shootout knotted at 3-3 while Zoe Van Gorder and Martha Hall made good on their chances to force a sixth round.

Furman outshot the Eagles 16-6 and finished with a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal.  Hull, who posted a 0.62 goals against average in her rookie season, notched two saves.

Defenders Emily Graves and Catie Moore earned all-tournament honors for the Paladins, along with senior Martha Hall.

Furman finished its season 16-3-3 while the Eagles improved to 10-7-5.


All-Tournament Team

Michaela Hermann, College of Charleston

Sarah Schaidle, College of Charleston

Claire O'Keeffe, Elon

Jaclyn Wood, Elon

Emily Graves, Furman

Martha Hall, Furman

Catie Moore, Furman

Nora El-Shami, Georgia Southern

Emily Hirano, Georgia Southern

Katie Merson , Georgia Southern

Zoe Van Gorder, Georgia Southern


Most Outstanding Player

Katie Merson, Georgia Southern