Greenville, S.C. – The UNCG women’s soccer team lost on a golden goal in the 91st minute to rival Furman (13-4-1) in the Southern Conference Quarterfinals ending the Spartans season in heartbreaking fashion Saturday afternoon. UNCG finishes 7-11-2 overall.
The Paladins controlled the first half of play, taking eight shots and holding UNCG’s offense without one of its own. The Paladins had a 5-0 advantage in corners in the opening frame but major defensive stops, including a pair by Georgia Brown (Queenstown, New Zealand/St. Hilda’s Collegiate) and Gabbi Charles (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville).
There was a shift in momentum after the break and UNCG possessed the ball majority of the second half. The Spartans fired off three shots and contested Furman’s defense a handful of times. The Paladins made a pair of team saves when UNCG fired two shots during a scramble following a Melanie Spensiero (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) corner kick.
Buehler made three pivotal saves in the final half of regulation including a diving stop with under a minute to play.
Furman came out hot in overtime challenging Buehler off the whistle but the Spartans crafty goalkeeper made the save, her fourth of the match. Less than a minute later Carlie Couch fired one Buehler’s way, this time the Paladins shot ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar and in for the game-winning goal.
Saturday marked the second-consecutive year the Spartans’ season was ended by the Paladins at Stone Soccer Stadium. Last year, Furman scored two goals in the final 10 minutes of the semifinals to advance to the SoCon Championship.
UNCG and Furman have now met 11 times in the SoCon Tournament with UNCG leading the series 6-5.
The Blue & Gold finishes 2016 7-11-2 overall while Furman advances to the SoCon Semifinals next weekend in Johnson City, Tenn.