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Women's Soccer Set To Face Western Carolina In Friday SoCon Semifinal

Sanon Williams and Amanda Baker
Sanon Williams and Amanda Baker

Greenville, S.C. -- The Furman women's soccer team will look to extend its 12-match unbeaten run and secure a spot in the league's championship final when it faces the No. 4 seed Western Carolina Catamounts in the semifinal round of the Southern Conference Women's Soccer Championship on Friday night in Birmingham, Ala.. Kickoff at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium is slated for 6 p.m. ET

Friday's match will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network with live statistics available through StatBroadcast at FurmanPaladins.com.

No. 1 seed Furman reached the semifinals with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over ETSU last Sunday on Seagraves Field at Stone Stadium. The Bucs grabbed an early lead on a penalty kick before senior Rachel Shah and sophomore Jordan Evens connected on first-half free kicks to give the Paladins the lead. Sunday's win stretched Furman's unbeaten streak to 12 matches and improved the Paladins to 13-2-2 on the campaign.

The Paladins, who placed a school record-tying six players on the All-SoCon first team, lead the league with 45 goals and rank as the SoCon's stingiest defense by allowing only nine goals in 2017. First team all-league choice Molly Dwyer has netted nine goals and added seven assists, while sophomores Treva Aycock and Caitlyn Reilly have contributed eight goals and five assists and seven goals and six assists, respectively. Shah, a two-time All-SoCon choice, has registered three goals and eight assists.

Furman's defense features first team All-SoCon selections in right back Quinn Lombard, left back Sanon Williams, goalkeeper Kellsey Weaver and Evens at center back. The Paladins allowed just one goal in SoCon regular season play, which came against Western Carolina in a 2-1 Furman victory on October 13, at Stone Stadium.

Friday's semifinal marks the 24th meeting between the schools with Furman holding a 17-5-1 series lead. The Paladins are 6-0-1 in their last seven meetings versus Western Carolina and sport a 3-1-0 mark against the Catamounts in SoCon Tournament play.

Furman is looking to claim its seventh SoCon Tournament title and advance to its eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Andrew Burr guided the Paladins to SoCon Tournament crowns and trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2007, 2013 and 2015. Burr, in his 13th season in charge of the Furman program, ranks as the SoCon's all-time winningest coach with a 175-75-22 (.684) overall record and 83-32-16 (.695) SoCon mark. Since the beginning of the 2012 season, Burr's Paladins have posted an 89-23-11 (.768) overall record and 42-8-7 (.798) SoCon regular season mark.

The winner of Friday's match will advance to Sunday's 2 p.m. ET championship match to face the winner of Friday's second semifinal contest between Mercer and Samford. The championship match will be streamed live on ESPN3.


Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information