Greenville, S.C. -- Freshman Anna Shea and senior Rachel Shelnutt each scored a pair of goals to lead Furman to a 4-1 victory over Georgia Southern in Southern Conference women’s soccer action on Sunday afternoon at Stone Stadium.
The victory improved the Paladins to 7-4-0 overall and 2-0-0 in SoCon play while extending Furman’s winning streak against the Eagles to 16 consecutive matches. Georgia Southern slipped to 2-6-1 overall and 0-2-0 in league play.
“I was very pleased with our team starting fast and taking control of the match early,” said Furman head coach Andrew Burr. “We did a nice job of putting the pressure on them with a quick goal and were able to add to it. We’re definitely happy to be 2-0 in the league after the opening weekend of SoCon play.”
Furman wasted no time taking control on its home field. Georgia Southern goalkeeper Kailey Kiefus and a Furman attacker both slid to control a cross into the box in the opening seconds and the loose ball landed at the feet of Shea who fired into an open net just 30 seconds into the match to put Furman ahead 1-0.
Shelnutt, who now leads the team with six goals on the season, doubled the Paladin lead at 28:56. The St. Simons Island, Ga., product received a Kristin Fennegan pass inside the box and fired a left-footed shot through traffic into the righthand corner for her first of two goals on the afternoon. Less than three minutes later, Shea slipped the ball through the legs of her defender and blasted a 30-yard shot over Kiefus to stretch the margin to 3-0 in the 32nd minute.
Furman added to its lead in the 51st minute as Shelnutt dribbled through the midfield and line a shot from the left side of the box into the right side netting at 50:04 to increase the cushion to 4-0.
Emily Archer helped Georgia Southern avoid the shutout with a 60th minute strike on an assist from McKenna Storey.
The Eagles outshot Furman 14-11, but Furman earned six corner kicks without conceding any to the visitors. Senior Jessica Smith stopped five shots to earn the win in goal while Holly Reilly came on in the second half to record one save. Kiefus and Katie Merson each registered a save for Georgia Southern.
Furman is on the road for a pair of SoCon matches next weekend. The Paladins travel to Appalachian State on Friday at 6 p.m. before facing Western Carolina in Cullowhee, N.C., on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Follow www.FurmanPaladins.com and www.Twitter.com/FurmanPaladins for updates on Furman Women’s Soccer throughout the 2011 season.