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Western Carolina Shocks Top-Seed Furman In SoCon Semis, 2-0

Quinn Lombard
Quinn Lombard

Birmingham, Ala. -- Western Carolina scored in the opening 10 minutes and added a late insurance goal to blank top-seed Furman, 2-0, in the semifinal round of the Southern Conference Women's Soccer Championship Friday night at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium.

The loss ended Furman's season at 13-3-2, while the Catamounts (9-9-3) advanced to face Friday night's Samford versus UNCG winner in Sunday's championship match.

"It's a disappointing way to have our season end, but we must give credit to Western Carolina," said Paladin head coach Andrew Burr. "They played very well tonight and their keeper made some nice saves. It hurts for our seniors, but we appreciate all that they have done for Furman soccer during their careers."

Emily Threatt put the Catamounts in front at the 8:26 mark when she followed her own deflected shot and scored on the rebound to give her team the lead. The eventual game-winning tally marked Threatt's seventh goal of the season.

Furman dominated much of the first half possession and outshot the Catamounts, 9-4, while posting a 5-2 edge in shots on goal. The Paladins continued to apply the pressure in the second half. Treva Aycock was denied on a one-versus-one chance before Virginia Poe saw her header off of a Rachel Shah corner kick flash wide of the left post and deflect off of a teammate. Shah curled a free kick midway through the second period that WCU's Jacquelin Gnassi tipped over the bar.

The Catamounts put the match away against the run of play in the 74th minute. Western Carolina chased down a loose ball on the right side of the box and Deyana Walker got a toe onto a low cross inside the near post that she redirected past Furman goalkeeper Kellsey Weaver at the 73:07 mark to double the lead.

The Paladins kept the pressure up in the final minutes, but they were unable to score on Gnassi who finished with 10 saves to earn the shutout. Weaver stopped three shots in a losing effort for the Paladins.

Western Carolina's pair of scores marked the first time an opponent had notched two goals against the Paladins since UAB downed Furman, 3-2, in overtime on September 1.

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information