SoCon Women's Soccer Championship page
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Just moments after No. 4 seed Furman had tied the match, No. 1 seed Samford got a Malcanisha Kelley goal in the 82nd minute to lift the Bulldogs past the Paladins, 2-1, in Friday’s first Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship semifinal match at Summers-Taylor Stadium. Samford advances to Sunday’s title bout and will face either No. 2 seed ETSU or No. 3 seed Mercer, who play in Friday’s second semifinal.
Kelley’s goal was a blast from about 25 yards out that smacked off the crossbar, bounced high into the air, landed a foot or so in front of the goal and then into the net for the game-winner. The goal, Kelley’s sixth of the season, came just 1:38 after the Paladins (13-5-1) had tied things up at 1.
After playing from behind since late in the first half, Furman finally pulled level in the 80th minute. Junior Molly Dwyer had the honors with her 10th goal of the season, taking passes from Erin O’Hearn and Treva Aycock and firing a line drive into the right side netting to make it 1-1 with 10:27 to play.
Samford (14-3-2) got on the board first in the 35th minute, when Taylor Borman played a cross from the right side that went off a Furman defender and was headed home by Korrrie Sauder for her third goal of the campaign.
The Bulldogs will be making their fourth championship game appearance and first since 2014. Samford won its lone title in 2011.
Furman outshot the top-seeded Bulldogs 15-6 on the day, putting six of those shots on frame. Samford keeper Anna Maddox was equal to the task, making five saves in improving to 13-0-0 on the year.
Trailing 1-0, Furman had one of its best scoring chances midway through the second half, when Carlie Couch took a nice through ball at the top of the box but had her shot deflected out of bounds. The ensuing corner kick came up empty.
With 13:30 left in the match, Samford senior Jermaine Seoposenwe, the SoCon Player of the Year and the league’s leading scorer, nearly doubled the Bulldog lead when she got loose on a breakaway, but Furman keeper Rose Hull came off her line to smother the ball before she could get off a shot.
Hull, a redshirt senior, made two saves in her final career match.
With the win, Samford’s ninth straight, the Bulldogs improved to 2-1 against Furman in the SoCon tournament. All three meetings have come in the semifinals, and the winner of the previous two went on to win the title in those seasons.
The win also avenged Samford’s lone league loss this season, a 3-2 setback on Sept. 25.
No. 2 ETSU 3, No. 3 Mercer 1 (photo gallery)
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Sophomore Isabel Hodgson scored a pair of goals and added an assist Friday as No. 2 seed ETSU downed No. 3 seed Mercer 3-1 in the semifinals of the Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship at Summers-Taylor Stadium. The Bucs will face No. 1 seed Samford in the championship final on Sunday.
Hogdson scored the Bucs’ first and final goals of the day, bookending a win that put ETSU (13-5-2) in the SoCon final for the first time. In between, Molly Collinson scored the game-winner in the 72nd minute.
Hodgson opened the scoring in the 21st minute. The Bucs’ Emily McKerlie sent a corner kick into the box, and after a brief scrum, the ball sprung free to Hodgson, who volleyed home a line drive to the upper left 90.
That’s where the score stayed until the second half, but Mercer (10-9-1) got on the board in the 56th minute when Haley McDuffee played a long ball from the midfield over the top to hit Maddie Clark perfectly in stride. Clark split a pair of defenders and fired a shot that glanced off the right post and in for her 14th goal of the season.
Collinson put ETSU back on top in the 72nd minute, pouncing on the rebound of Hodgson’s shot off the crossbar and heading it home for the 2-1 lead. The goal was Collinson’s seventh of the year, while Hodgson picked up her conference-leading ninth assist of the season.
Hodgson iced the contest moments later in nearly the same fashion, following up Georgia Allen’s shot off the right post and knocking it into the net just past the outstretched hands of diving keeper Cristina Mursuli for the final margin.
The goals were Hodgson’s third and fourth of the season.
With the win, ETSU moved to 10-0-0 at home this season, setting a school record for home wins.
The Bucs outshot Mercer 24-7, forcing a career-high 11 saves from Mursuli. ETSU keeper Lee Ann Cutshall made one save on the evening.
2016 SoCon Women’s Soccer Championship
Oct. 26 (Wednesday)
First round (at higher seeds)
Match 1: No. 8 VMI 1, No. 9 The Citadel 0 (OT)
Match 2: No. 7 Western Carolina 2, No. 10 Wofford 1 (2OT)
Oct. 29 (Saturday)
Quarterfinal round (at higher seeds)
Match 3: No. 1 Samford 5, No. 8 VMI 0
Match 4: No. 4 Furman 1, No. 5 UNCG 0 (OT)
Match 5: No. 2 ETSU 2, No. 7 Western Carolina 1
Oct. 30 (Sunday)
Quarterfinal round (at higher seeds)
Match 6: No. 3 Mercer 3, No. 6 Chattanooga 0
Nov. 4 (Friday)
Semifinals (Summers-Taylor Stadium; Johnson City, Tenn.)
Match 7: No. 1 Samford 2, No. 4 Furman 1
Match 8: No. 2 ETSU 3, No. 3 Mercer 1
Nov. 6 (Sunday)
Final (Summers-Taylor Stadium; Johnson City, Tenn.)
Match 9: No. 1 Samford vs. No. 2 ETSU, 1 p.m. (ESPN3)
All times Eastern.