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Paladins Shoot Past South Carolina State To Conclude Non-Conference Play, 8-0

Sanon Williams
Sanon Williams

Greenville, S.C. -- Seven different Paladins found the back of the net and Furman notched its seventh shutout in eight matches this season as it concluded non-conference play with an 8-0 victory over South Carolina State in women's soccer action on Friday evening at Stone Stadium.

Carlie Couch bagged a pair of goals, SoCon scoring leader Molly Dwyer netted a goal and an assist and sophomore Kristian Leone totaled a goal and two assists as Furman improved to 6-1-1 on the season. The Bulldogs dropped to 2-6-1.

"As we finish off our non-conference season, the purpose of tonight was to make sure we got to play lots of players, try some people in new positions and fine tune some things because in one week we start SoCon play against Chattanooga on Friday and Samford on Sunday," said Furman head coach Andrew Burr, who has guided the Paladins to a pair of SoCon titles in the past three seasons. "The real season is about to begin and we're ready to chase another conference championship."

Dwyer gave the Paladins the lead just 35 seconds into the match with her SoCon-leading sixth goal of the season as she ran onto a Rachel Shah lob over the back line, dribbled around the goalkeeper and fired into an empty net. Furman doubled its lead in the 14th minute as Sanon Williams claimed her first goal of the season with a 15-yard strike off an assist from Caitlyn Reilly.

In the 25th minute, Jordan Evens played a long ball to Dwyer who fed the ball to Couch in the box. The senior lined a low shot to the left-hand corner at the 24:21 mark to increase the Furman lead to 3-0.

Less than five minutes into the second half, sophomore Maddie Kulik netted her first career goal with a tricky touch past her defender before hammering a left-footed shot into the right-hand corner. Leone upped the margin to 5-0 just 41 seconds later by curling a corner kick inside the six-yard box that caromed off the goalkeeper's outstretched fingers and into net. The sophomore added assists on Reilly's 54th minute tally and Couch's goal in the 61st minute before sophomore Stephanie Arrington capped the scoring with a left-footed strike to the left corner on an assist from Melanie Rankin in the 64th minute.

Kellsey Weaver earned the victory in goal and shared the shutout with fellow keepers Allie Cutler and Sarah Rinker.  Taylor Brittingham made three saves in net for South Carolina State.

The Paladins managed a 25-2 edge in total shot attempts and an 11-1 advantage in shots on goal.

Furman kicks off SoCon play next Friday night at Stone Stadium versus Chattanooga before hosting league favorite Samford on Sunday, September 25. Tickets for both matches 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 statistics and watch a free live stream of both matched through the SoCon Digital Network by logging onto FurmanPaladins.com. In-game updates can be found on Twitter by following @FurmanWSoccer.


Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information