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Lancers fall to SoCon champs 2-0

Showcasing one of the nation’s strongest home-field advantages, reigning Southern Conference champion Furman used early goals from All-SoCon forward Jasmine Greene and sophomore Hannah Farr to take down Longwood 2-0 Sunday at Stone Soccer Stadium.

The win extended a 10-game regular-season unbeaten streak for the Paladins (2-0), which dates back to the start of a 2020 season in which they went 8-1-2 overall and won the SoCon Championship tournament. The victory also improved the Paladins’ home record to 14-1-1 since 2019 and extended their home unbeaten streak to 13 games. 

“We continue to learn and grow with each game,” Longwood head coach Todd Dyer said. “The biggest issue right now is that our mistakes are costing us goals, and that makes things a lot tougher, especially on the road.”

Those miscues resulted in a 20th-minute breakaway goal from Farr and a follow-up strike from Greene just over four minutes later that put the Lancers in a 2-0 hole. Furman kept the pressure on the rest of the way, but Longwood stopped all eight shots on goal with starting goalkeeper Mary Kate Levush making five saves, junior Jordan Horacek four and Longwood’s backline turning away two more. 

However, those two goals gave the Paladins enough of a cushion to withstand a Longwood offense that managed 12 shots, with the All-Big South frontline tandem of sophomore Alex Dinger and junior Kiersten Yuhas accounting for three attempts apiece. Furman’s goalkeeping duo of Addison Corn and Nora Sampson turned away all four shots on goal they faced, though, earning the Paladins their second straight shutout. 

“There’s no lack of effort, so we just need to clean some things up in the back with our communication and defensive cover, and that’s on us as coaches,” Dyer said. “We did a lot of good things with the ball today, and that’s against the reigning SoCon champs. This was a tough road trip for sure this weekend, but it’s invaluable experience that only makes us better.”

The Lancers continued to deploy their well-stocked bench, playing 22 players in the 90-minute contest. Senior defender Kylie Cahill was the lone Lancer to play all 90 minutes, while graduate student Madison Hommey put in an 82-minute marathon effort of her own. Of the Lancers’ 22 players to earn minutes, five were freshmen including midfielder Kylie Tusant, who earned her first career start.

The loss ends a season-opening two-game road trip in South Carolina for the Lancers, who will return to Farmville to prepare for their 2021 fall home opener against American this Thursday at 6 p.m.