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Paladins Pull Away From Air Force In Final Exhibition Contest, 4-1

Melanie Rankin
Melanie Rankin

Greenville, S.C. -- Furman netted three second-half goals to break a 1-1 tie as the Paladins claimed a 4-1 victory over Air Force in the final preseason contest for both schools on Saturday morning at Stone Soccer Stadium in Greenville, S.C.

Senior Melanie Rankin found the back of the net on a breakaway at 55:49 to give Furman a 2-1 lead. Fellow senior Rachel Shah doubled the lead with a spot kick at the 68:09 mark and senior Molly Dwyer capped the scoring with her second goal of the day at 83:50 as the Paladins pulled away for the 4-1 triumph.

"It's great to get a win and be able to get work in the preseason for so many players," said Paladin coach Andrew Burr. "Three different players scored for us today, we were able to put the game away in the second half and get a long look at a number of players who are battling for a chance to earn playing time in the regular season."

Dwyer, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., and preseason All-SoCon choice, gave the Paladins a 1-0 lead by tapping in a Treva Aycock cross at the 17:36 mark. Air Force equalized in the 32nd minute when Brittany Mahowald ran onto a pass over the top of the Furman defense and beat Paladin goalkeeper Kellsey Weaver at 31:41.

Furman compiled a 19-10 edge in total shot attempts, including a 10-5 advantage in shots on goal. Junior Allie Cutler, who played the final 45 minutes in goal, notched three saves to earn the victory. Alex Kahalley turned away four shots in 45 minutes of work for the Falcons.

The Paladins host USC Upstate in the regular season opener on Seagraves Field at Stone Soccer Stadium on August 18, at 7 p.m.

Tickets for every home Furman match are $5 and are available at the Stone Stadium gate beginning an hour prior to kickoff.  Log onto for $20 season tickets (20 game vouchers).

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information