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Paladins Face Top-Seed Samford In Friday SoCon Semifinal Match

Caitlyn Reilly
Caitlyn Reilly

Greenville, S.C. -- The No. 5 seed Furman Paladins continue their quest for a league title and NCAA Tournament berth when they battle No. 1 seed Samford in the semifinal round of the Southern Conference Women's Soccer Championship Friday at 4 p.m. at Betts Stadium in Macon, Ga.

Friday's semifinal round matches will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network. Links for the live stats and the live video of Furman's contest can be found at FurmanPaladins.com.

Furman enters Friday's match having won five straight games and six of its last seven matches after topping No. 4 seed Western Carolina, 1-0, in the quarterfinal round on Saturday night in Cullowhee, N.C. Freshman Isabella Gutierrez scored the lone goal of the match in the 27th minute by heading an Erin Houlihan cross into the lower right-hand corner, while junior Kellsey Weaver stopped seven shots to record the clean sheet.

Houlihan, who has totaled a team-best six goals to go with five assists this season, garnered SoCon All-Freshman honors on Tuesday, along with fellow forward Grace Baghdady. Junior midfielder Caitlyn Reilly was named first team All-SoCon, while senior defender Virginia Poe earned second team honors.

Samford has scored eight straight wins, starting with a 1-0 victory over Furman in Greenville on September 28. The Bulldogs hold an 8-4-2 lead in the all-time series versus the Paladins, including a 2-1 edge in SoCon Tournament play.

The winner of Friday's match will advance to face the winner of Friday night's UNCG-ETSU match in the championship round on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Macon.

2018 Women's Soccer Championship
Saturday, Oct. 27
Quarterfinals (at higher seeds)
Match 3: No. 1 Samford 1, No. 9 The Citadel 0
Match 4: No. 5 Furman 1, No. 4 Western Carolina 0
Match 5: No. 2 UNCG 3, No. 10 VMI 2
Sunday, Oct. 28
Match 6: No. 3 ETSU 1, No. 6 Mercer 0
Friday, Nov. 2
Semifinals (Betts Stadium; Macon, Ga.)
Match 7: No. 1 Ssamford vs. No. 5 Furman, 4 p.m.
Match 8: No. 2 UNCG vs. Winner Match 6, 6:30 p.m. 
Sunday, Nov. 4
Final (Betts Stadium; Macon, Ga.)
Match 9: Winner Match 7 vs. Winner Match 8, 2 p.m.
*all times eastern unless otherwise noted