BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team fell 2-1 to Furman in the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament on the campus of Samford on Friday night. The Cougars battled from behind to equalize in a second half which they dictated, but a late Furman goal on a counter attack decided the result.
The Cougars (7-12-1) fell behind early but came out energized in the second half and equalized the match on a goal by McCallie Jones (Charlotte, N.C.). CofC created a wealth of chances to potentially pull ahead in the second period, but Furman’s (16-3-2) defense held up and the Paladins would counter on one such chance to score in transition and escape with the win to advance to the finals.
“First of all, congratulations go out to Furman for playing an incredible match and earning the opportunity to play for the championship of our conference,” said head coach Christian Michner. “This was another great match between two very good teams.
“I think over the course of 90 minutes it was a very even match. They probably had the better of the play in the first half, but we sorted some things out at halftime and came back out with a killer instinct. We attacked and defended like killers and I couldn’t be happier with the effort our girls gave tonight. We put on some great pressure throughout the second half and were unable to capitalize. I think we only gave up two real chances in the second half and they capitalized on one of them. It’s unfortunate, but that’s soccer. We have a great bunch of players and I’m extremely proud of the effort they’ve given all season.”
Furman scored early when India Robertson chipped a ball into the box from the flank and Hannah Stanifer volleyed it into the back of the net in the seventh minute.
The teams would exchange chances openly for the remainder of the period with Furman coming away with a 9-5 shot advantage at halftime.
Michner challenged his squad to play back into the match during the intermission, and the team responded by inserting itself into the match as the more decisive team in the second half.
It didn’t take long for the results of the effort to materialize, as the Cougars equalized the match just over three minutes into the second half. Sarah Cardamone (Downingtown, Pa.) sent the ball into the box on a corner kick and Jones collected a failed clearance effort and scored top shelf from 15 yards out.
The Cougars continued to apply pressure and created several quality chances to net the equalizer but were denied the touch or bounce they needed despite a 5-3 second-half shot advantage.
Furman was able to counter on one of CofC’s attacks in the 77th minute when Jamie Alexander collected a ball in her defensive end and played it ahead to a sprinting Martha Hall who was able to corral it away from the last CofC defenders back on the play and score just under the crossbar from 20 yards away for the game winner.
The Paladins will now challenge Georgia Southern in the SoCon Championship on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. (CST).