GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro got goals from four different players as it opened Southern Conference play with a 4-0 win over Furman on Friday to get Homecoming weekend started with style.
With the win, UNCG's regular-season SoCon unbeaten streak improved to 32 matches. The Spartans (5-4, 1-0 SoCon) have gone 30-0-2 in the league since their last regular-season conference loss in 2005. That loss, coincidentally, came against the Paladins (6-2, 0-1 SoCon).
Junior Kristin Player got the scoring started in the 38th minute with her fourth goal of the season. Senior Lauren Lopez got the play started in the back, lofting a pass that cleared the Furman defense and found Player alone at the top of the box. Player beat a Furman defender and chipped Paladin keeper Jessica Smith for the game's first goal.
Sophomore Cat Barnekow made it a two-score game less than five minutes later, collecting a loose ball after a UNCG corner kick and sending a strike into the lower left corner from the top of the box in the 43rd minute.
UNCG put an exclamation point on the win in the 88th minute, when freshman Katie Durst sent a ball in from the touchline to senior Kelly Attayek, who pounded in her first goal of the season. Freshman Lauren Hein, the reigning SoCon Player of the Week, also picked up an assist, as she started the play with a nice pass that caught Durst in stride.
Smith made several outstanding saves to keep Furman in the game. The sophomore had two in a matter of seconds in the 28th minute, first saving a close-range Padgett shot on the left side of the goal and then scrambling across the goal mouth to stop a Hein attempt off the rebound on the right side.
Her best save of the night came in the 71st minute, when she made a phenomenal leaping grab to her right to rob Heather Mitrisin of what appeared to be her first goal of the season. Smith finished with six saves in 75 minutes of work.
UNCG keeper Kelsey Kearney picked up her third shutout of the season, making four saves of her own. The four stops give her 105 for her career, moving her into sixth place in school history ahead of Heather Bridgewater (104, 1992-93).
The four-goal margin of victory was the largest for either side in the 22-match all-time series between the traditional SoCon powers.
The Spartans remain at home to wrap up the Homecoming weekend against Wofford at 2 p.m. Sunday at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
Furman (6-2, 0-1 SoCon) vs. UNC Greensboro (5-4, 1-0 SoCon)
Date: Sep 25, 2009 Attendance: 393
Weather: 65 degrees and cloudy
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Furman 0 0 0
UNC Greensboro 2 2 4
1 37:35 UNCG Kristin Player (4) (Lauren Lopez)
2 42:02 UNCG Cat Barnekow (1) (unassisted)
3 57:56 UNCG Tabitha Padgett (3) (Jen Rincon;Kristin Player)
4 87:42 UNCG Kelly Attayek (1) (Katie Durst;Lauren Hein)
Shots: Furman 8, UNC Greensboro 18
Saves: Furman 7 (Sarah Caldwell 1; Jessica Smith 6), UNC Greensboro 4 (Kelsey Kearney 4)
Corner kicks: Furman 5, UNC Greensboro 6
Fouls: Furman 10, UNC Greensboro 13
- UNCG -