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Furman’s Late Rally Falls Short Versus UNCW; Seahawks Halt Paladins’ Unbeaten Run, 4-2

Willough Davis
Willough Davis

Greenville, S.C. -- UNCW built a 4-0 lead and held off a late charge to down Furman, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon to halt the Paladins unbeaten run at five matches and end their 15-match home unbeaten streak on Seagraves Field at Stone Stadium.

The loss dropped the Paladins to 4-1-1 on the season, while the Seahawks upped their record to 5-1-1.

"UNCW is an outstanding team and obviously worthy of being ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Poll," said Furman head coach Andrew Burr. "But we can't afford to wait until there are 25 or 30 minutes left in the match before we come to play. I was proud of Lauren Pinion and some of our substitutes that came in and really gave us a boost to get back in the match."

After UNCW controlled much of the possession in the early going, the Seahawks broke through on the scoreboard in the 41st minute. UNCW won the ball off a Furman goal kick short of midfield and played the ball down the right wing. Serenity Waters sent a cross into the box to Meg Salvadore, who touched a pass to Kristen Bootes to finish from inside the penalty spot.  The goal gave the Seahawks a 1-0 lead and snapped Furman's season-opening shutout streak at 510:30.

Less than 12 minutes after intermission, Kennedy Ulrich slotted a pass down the center of the field to Baley Edwards, who chipped a shot over goalkeeper Rose Hull to double the UNCW lead at the 56:38 mark.  The Seahawks added a third goal when Madison Melnick scored off of Waters' corner kick at 61:50 and Melnick netted a second goal in the 69th minute by getting on the end of Savannah Andrews free kick.

Furman got on the scoreboard at the 69:20 mark as Willough Davis ran onto a deflected ball and took a touch inside the box before lofting a shot over UNCW goalkeeper Liisa Rahkola for her second goal of the season. The Paladins continued the comeback at 71:11 when Kristian Leone played a corner kick to Hannah Froats inside the box. Froats slid the ball towards the left post to Amanda Baker who tapped in her second goal of the campaign.

Coach Burr's squad continued to turn up the pressure over the final 19 minutes, but were able to direct just one shot on target in the final minutes.

Rahkola finished with two saves to earn the victory in goal for UNCW. Freshman Kellsey Weaver stopped two shots for Furman in over 65 minutes of play, while senior Rose Hull took the loss after allowing three goals in less than 25 minutes of action.

The Seahawks compiled a 16-5 advantage in total shots and 6-4 edge in shots on goal.

Furman returns to action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when it faces the Presbyterian Blue Hose at Martin Stadium in Clinton, S.C. The Paladins come back home to conclude non-conference play on Friday versus South Carolina State.

Tickets for Friday's match are available online at FurmanPaladins.com or can be purchased at the Stone Stadium gate beginning one hour prior to kickoff. Fans can follow live stats of both matches this week by logging onto FurmanPaladins.com and can access game updates on Twitter by following @FurmanWSoccer.


Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information