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Furman, Mercer, ETSU Advance in SoCon Tourney
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 11/02/2014
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ETSU's Hannah Short
Courtesy: ETSU
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No. 2 Furman 3, No. 7 Wofford 2

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Junior Stephanie DeVita netted goals in the 40th and 47th minutes to rally second-seeded Furman past seventh-seeded Wofford, 3-2, in the Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon at Stone Soccer Stadium.

With the victory, the Paladins (13-3-2) advanced to the semifinal round on Friday, Nov. 7, in Cullowhee, N.C. Furman will face Mercer, 2-1 a winner over Western Carolina in quarterfinal round play, in a 7:30 p.m. contest at the Catamount Sports Complex. The winner will advance to play in next Sunday’s SoCon championship match in Cullowhee at 1 p.m. on ESPN3.

Wofford (7-11-0) looked primed to pull the upset when it grabbed a 1-0 lead on Mary Kathryn Macklen’s free kick from 28 yards out at the 18:20 mark. The Terriers drew a foul outside the 18-yard box and to the right of center. Macklen stepped up and hit a dipping shot over the head of Paladin goalkeeper Rose Hull for her fourth goal of the campaign.

Furman scored the equalizer less than 11 minutes later on sophomore Carlie Couch’s eighth tally of the 2014 season. Claire Sullivan slid a pass down the right wing and India Robinson curled a ball toward the back post that Couch jumped to head between Wofford goalkeeper Kara Boggs and a Terrier defender at the 28:48 mark.

The Paladins celebration did not last long as Macklen put the Terriers back on top at 34:59 with her second free kick goal of the afternoon. After the Terriers drew a foul at the edge of the box on the left side, Macklen curled a right-footed free kick into the near-side corner to give Wofford the 2-1 advantage.

Furman continued to pressure the Wofford defense and once again leveled the match in the 40th minute. Robinson lofted a pass over the Terrier back line and into the right side of the box to DeVita. The Simpsonville, S.C., product took two touches to round her defender and fired a shot across the face of goal to tie the game at 2-2. Robinson’s second assist of the day marked her 52nd career assist and moved her into a tie with Kaye Brownlee for Furman’s single season record with 19.

Less than three minutes into the second half, DeVita gave Furman its first lead. Boggs made a save on a point-blank shot from the Paladins’ Molly Dwyer, but her attempted clearance hit the referee and knocked him to the turf at the top of the box. DeVita collected the loose ball and lined a shot past Boggs from the top of the box to put Furman in front, 3-2. The goal marked DeVita’s 16th tally of the season and 50th of her career, which moved her into a tie for second place in Furman history and into a tie for third in SoCon history for career goals.

Furman managed to hold the Terriers without a shot on target the rest of the way to preserve the victory. Hull earned the win in net for Furman, while Boggs finished with 15 saves in a losing effort for Wofford.

The Paladins compiled a 27-8 margin in shot attempts and held a commanding 18-2 advantage in shots on goal.

 

No. 3 Mercer 2, No. 6 Western Carolina 1

MACON, Ga. – The third-seeded Mercer women’s soccer team advanced to the Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship semifinals after defeating No. 6 seed Western Carolina, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon at Bear Field.

The Bears improved to 12-5-2 on the season as the Catamounts fell to 8-7-4.

After a scoreless first half, Mercer took a 1-0 lead in the 65th minute after Sarah Daane scored off a long shot after receiving a pass from Kristen Hagaman.

Western Carolina knotted the score, 1-1, less than three minutes later after Markie Studnicky headed the ball to the center of the net from just outside the goal. Studnicky was assisted by Haven Leland.

The Bears took the lead again, 2-1, in the 83rd minute after Lauren Gassie sent a header to the back of the net. Gassie received a cross from Tess Patton, who was on the right side of the field, and then directed it to the center of the goal.

Mercer outshot Western Carolina, 15-6, and controlled the corner kick count, 7-3. In goal, Maggie Cropp made two saves.

Mercer will face Furman in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Cullowhee, N.C.

 

No. 4 ETSU 3, No. 5 UNCG 2 (OT)

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Fourth-seeded ETSU scored three goals after halftime, including a 91st-minute game-winner by Hannah Short, to defeat No. 5 UNCG in overtime, 3-2, Sunday in a Southern Conference Championship quarterfinal match.

Short, the nation's leading goal-scorer, netted two goals on the day, taking sole possession of the Southern Conference's single-season record for goals (26).

With the win, ETSU advanced to the semifinals of the SoCon Women's Soccer Championship. The Bucs (15-5) will take on No. 1 seed Samford on Friday, Nov. 7, at 5 p.m., in Cullowhee, N.C.

ETSU defeated Samford in Birmingham, Ala., 3-1, earlier this season. Since then, the Bulldogs (13-7) have won seven of eight games.

No. 2 Furman will face off with No. 3 Mercer in the other semifinal match, which will begin after the ETSU vs. Samford match Nov. 7.

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