GREENSBORO, N.C. – No. 1 seed Samford and No. 2 seed Furman each won semifinal matches at the Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship at UNCG’s Soccer Stadium on the campus of UNC Greensboro on Friday and will square off in Sunday’s title game at 2 p.m.
The match will be the first between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds since 2016 and the first meeting in the finals between the two programs in league history.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – No. 1 seed Samford downed No. 4 Mercer, 3-0, in the first semifinal game of the Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship at UNCG Soccer Stadium on Friday and has earned a spot in Sunday’s title game at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs will match up with the winner of No. 2 Furman and No. 3 UNC Greensboro.
Though scoreless at halftime, Samford came out firing to begin the second half, scoring just 16 seconds after the resumption of play on an own goal to take a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs added an insurance goal in the 72nd minute as senior Keyli Borman netted her second goal of the season. Borman, a native of Georgetown, Kentucky, stole the ball around midfield and dribbled all the way to the net, firing from just a few yards out and scoring past Bears goalkeeper Jordyn Ebert. Erin Bonner scored the third goal of the game in the 87th minute, drawing a foul in the box and scoring on a penalty kick. The goal was the third of the season for Bonner, a senior from Deatsville, Alabama.
Samford goalkeeper Morgan McAslan, a first-team all-conference selection, didn’t record a save as her stingy backline, led by SoCon Defensive Player of the Year Taylore Miller, provided support and allowed just four shots by the Bears as Samford tallied its 11th shutout of the year. Ebert tallied seven saves in goal as Samford recorded 17 shots.
The win, which avenged a 1-0 loss in the regular season that ended Samford’s streak of 30 consecutive unbeaten regular-season conference contests, sends the Bulldogs to the SoCon Championship final for the first time since 2016, when the top-seeded Bulldogs downed No. 2 ETSU 2-1 to win its second SoCon championship. Mercer, which collected the most wins in program history, sees its season ends at 16-4-0.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Furman Paladins, the No. 2 seed, got a goal from first-team all-conference midfielder Isabella Gutierrez just over two minutes into the contest and held on for a 1-0 win over No.3 seed and host school UNCG in the second semifinal match. UNC Greensboro had a great look in the sixth minute as sophomore forward Isabelle Blomdahl collected the ball just yards in front of the goal and fired a shot just left of the goal. Gutierrez’s sixth goal of the season proved to be the difference as Furman improves to 14-5-1 on the season.
UNCG goalkeeper Abby Buchholz finished with two saves while Furman’s Kellsey Weaver, a second-team all-conference selection recorded three in the win. The Spartans outshot the Paladins 14-13.
Furman makes an appearance in the finals for the second straight season after falling to UNCG 3-0 in the 2018 final. The Paladins have six Southern Conference Championships, second only to UNCG’s eight.
In the regular-season matchup, Samford and Furman tied 1-1 in Birmingham, Alabama on Sept. 27.
2019 Women's Soccer Championship
Wednesday, Oct. 30
First Round (at higher seeds)
Match 1: No. 9 The Citadel 1, No. 8 ETSU 0
Match 2: No. 7 Wofford 2, No. 10 VMI 1
Saturday, Nov. 2
Quarterfinals (at higher seeds)
Match 3: No. 1 Samford 5, No. 9 The Citadel 1
Sunday, Nov. 3
Quarterfinals (at higher seeds)
Match 4: No. 4 Mercer 1, No. 5 Western Carolina 0 (2OT)
Match 5: No. 2 Furman 3, No. 7 Wofford 0
Match 6: No. 3 UNCG 1, No. 6 Chattanooga 1 (2OT, UNCG 4-2 PKs)
Friday, Nov. 8
Semifinals (UNCG Soccer Stadium; Greensboro, N.C.)
Match 7: No. 1 Samford 3, No. 4 Mercer 0
Match 8: No. 2 Furman 1, No. 3 UNCG 0
Sunday, Nov. 10
Final (UNCG Soccer Stadium; Greensboro, N.C.)
Match 9: No.1 Samford vs. No. 2 Furman
*all times eastern unless otherwise noted