Greenville, S.C. -- Junior Josiah Baker scored two minutes into overtime to power Furman to a 2-1, come-from-behind victory over UNCG in the Southern Conference regular season finale for both schools Sunday night on Seagraves Field at Stone Stadium.
The victory extended Furman's unbeaten run to five matches and improved the Paladins to 11-4-3 overall and 5-2-3 in the SoCon. Furman finished third in the final SoCon standings and will host No. 6 seed VMI in the opening round of the SoCon Men's Soccer Championship on Saturday, November 4, at 5 p.m. UNCG dropped to 9-7-2 overall and 6-3-1 in league play, while being denied a share of the league title with the loss.
"I'm proud of our team for the way they kept fighting tonight, and it's great to win on Senior Night," said Paladin head coach Doug Allison. "Every game is tough to win this time of year, but we got two nice goals tonight by Rocky and Josiah and were able to get it done."
With the match knotted at 1-1 in overtime, Furman pounced on a loose ball and pushed numbers forward on a counter attack. Emery May dribbled into the attacking third on a two-versus-one, played the ball to Baker on the right and the Lawrenceville, Ga., native took several touches before firing a shot into the top shelf over the right shoulder of the UNCG keeper at the 82-minute mark. The goal was the fourth of the season for Baker.
UNCG grabbed the first half lead in the 26th minute when Nelson Oceano finished at the left post on a low cross through the box from Austin Matthews.
Furman turned up the pressure in the second half and began to control the majority of possession before equalizing with under 12 minutes left in regulation. Rocky Guerra took a pass from Kevin Edelmann on the right side of the box and ripped a shot that wrong-footed UNCG goalkeeper Jon Milligan when it deflected off of a defender and into the right corner at the 78:34 mark.
Milligan finished with two saves for UNCG in a losing effort, while Furman's Ben Hale stopped one shot to earn the victory in net.
The Paladins held a 12-9 advantage in total shot attempts and 4-2 edge in shots on goal.
Tickets for Saturday's opening round postseason match at Stone Stadium will be on sale this week for $5 and can be purchased online at FurmanPaladins.com or at the Stone Stadium gate beginning one hour before kickoff. The winner advances to face No. 2 seed UNCG in the SoCon semifinals on Seagraves Field on Friday, November 10.
Next Saturday's match will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network with live statistics available through StatBroadcast. Links for both the live stream and live statistics will be posted at FurmanPaladins.com.