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Samford Edges Furman In SoCon Semifinal, 2-1

Molly Dwyer
Molly Dwyer

Johnson City, Tenn. -- Malcanisha Kelley broke a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 82nd minute to propel top-seed Samford to a 2-1 victory over No. 4 seed Furman in the semifinal round of the Southern Conference Women's Soccer Championship on Friday evening at Summers-Taylor Stadium in Johnson City, Tenn.

With the loss, Furman concludes its season at 13-5-1. Samford (14-3-2) advances to face either ETSU or Mercer in the SoCon finals on Sunday afternoon in Johnson City.

At the 81:11 mark, Kelley unleashed a shot from the top of the box that rattled the cross bar and bounced straight up in the air. Furman goalkeeper Rose Hull hit the ground after making a leaping effort to push the shot over the bar and the ball bounced and skipped into the empty net for the deciding goal.

Furman pushed forward in the final minutes, but were unable to find the equalizer.

"I'm proud of our effort tonight," said Furman head coach Andrew Burr. "We played hard and found a tying goal, but were the victim of an unfortunate bounce at the end. Samford is a great team and deserves a lot of credit."

The Bulldogs took the first half lead in the 35th minute when Taylor Borman crossed the ball into the box from the right wing, it took a deflection off a Furman defender and was headed inside the left post by Korrie Sauder. Samford carried a 1-0 lead into the halftime break despite being outshot 7-4 by the Paladins.

Much of the second half was played in the midfield, but Furman finally found the equalizing goal in the 80th minute on junior Molly Dwyer's 10th goal of the season. Erin O'Hearn tapped a pass to Treva Aycock who played Dwyer through on the goalkeeper. The Knoxville, Tenn., native curled a shot from left of the penalty spot around the goalkeeper and into the right corner to tie the game at 1-1.

"We're disappointed for our seniors Carlie Couch, Lauren Pinion and Rose Hull," said Burr. "They have meant so much to our program and have provided great leadership all season."

Furman finished with a 15-6 edge in total shots and 6-4 advantage in shots on goal. Hull stopped two shots in her final match as a Paladin, while Anna Maddox recorded five saves to help Samford reach the championship match.

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information