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SoCon semifinals: Bucs bow to Furman in overtime

Gene Renfro • Nov 9, 2018 at 10:54 PM

On a rainy Friday evening at the Southern Conference men’s soccer tournament, Furman slipped by host East Tennessee State University behind a 2-1 overtime decision in the second semifinal.

With the outcome Furman, the No. 3 seed, advances to Sunday’s championship match scheduled for 1 p.m. at Summers-Taylor Stadium. The Paladins’ opponent will be University of North Carolina Greensboro. Furman will look for a 14th tournament title while UNCG has five such championships.

UNCG, the No. 5 seed, upset regular-season champion Mercer 1-0. A goal from Alex Henderson in the 26th minute was the difference.

The Spartans avenged Mercer’s 3-0 win last month and improved to 8-8-2 while the Bears slipped to 12-4-2.

ETSU dropped to 9-7-1 and will have to wait to see whether it receives one of 24 at-large bids for the NCAA tournament. The Bucs’ RPI was ranked 39th for the highest in the Southern Conference.

“For us it stings, but hopefully we did enough throughout the year for an at-large bid,” ETSU first-year head coach David Casper said.

Extra Time

Furman held a 2-0 shot advantage in the extra 7:37. The second shot was a net-finding header by Laurence Wyke, the recipient of a Rocky Guerra corner kick.

Wyke moved into the a tie for the team lead with his seventh goal of 2018 while the assist was the team-best seventh for Guerra.

“They make the game tough,” Casper said. “The way they keep the ball makes it hard for anyone to get into the game. It hurts ... it was two even teams battling at the end of the day. Soccer is a cruel sport because you can do so much and still come up short. They’re a good team, it’s hard to say they didn’t deserve it.”

Regulation Goals

Furman struck in the 47th minute to break a scoreless tie. Miles Fenton received the ball on a cross from Conor Sloan.

Fenton was about 12 yards out when he put the ball into the left side of the net. It was the second score of the year for the freshman.

The Bucs tied things up in the 55th minute with a penalty kick. The Furman foul was whistled, then Cameron Woodfin lined up for the shot. The Paladins’ Ben Hale, also the Southern Conference goalkeeper of the year, dove to his right as Woodfin deposited the ball on the other side to the back of the net.

ETSU almost received a goal in the 75th minute. A Paladin played the ball back to Hale, but a slip almost allowed the ball to break the goal line.

Notes

The Bucs outshot Furman 5-3 in the first half, but the Paladins held the shot advantage 6-3 after halftime.

The match was the fourth overtime affair for the Bucs this season. ETSU went 1-2-1 in matches that went longer than 90 minutes.

Furman won an overtime contest for the first time in 2018. The Paladins were 0-1-1 before Friday and were 3-1-3 last season.

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