No. 20 UNCG (12-1-1, 7-0-0 SoCon) at Furman (8-5-2, 3-2-2 SoCon), Oct. 17, 2 p.m., Greenville, S.C.
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via FurmanPaladins.com)
Video: FurmanPaladins.com ($7.95 single-game package)
- No. 20 UNCG wraps up its weekend of women's soccer in the South Carolina Upstate when it visits Furman for a Southern Conference match Sunday. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
- At 12-1-1, UNCG is off to the best start in the program's 23-year history. The 1991 squad previously held that distinction, opening 9-1-0 before dropping its next game.
- The Spartans have won nine straight games, tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation. UNCG will try for its second 10-game winning streak in two seasons Sunday. The last time the Spartans won 10 straight was from Oct. 3, 2008 through Nov. 2, 2008. The school record for consecutive wins is 12, set during the 2007 season.
Active winning streaks (all teams play again Sunday
unless otherwise noted)
Hofstra – 13
Stanford – 11
Dayton – 10
UC Irvine – 10
Creighton – 9 (next game is Saturday)
UNCG – 9
Boston U. – 8
Marquette – 8
Denver – 8
Toledo – 8
- UNCG is ranked for the fourth week this season. The Spartans are No. 20 in the Soccer America poll, moving up one spot from last week, and are No. 22 in the NSCAA/Hendrickcars.com poll, up two from last week. UNCG was 18th in Soccer America on Aug. 30, tied for 25th on Sept. 27 and 21st on Oct. 4. UNCG was 24th in the NSCAA poll last week, making its first appearance in the poll since Dec. 11, 1997.
- Furman and UNCG are the winningest teams in SoCon history. The Paladins have 110 wins in league play since the SoCon began women's soccer play in 1994, while UNCG is just two wins back despite not joining the league for another three years. The Spartans have won eight regular-season SoCon titles and six tournament titles, while Furman has won six regular-season titles and four tourney crowns.
- UNCG is 12-9-1 against Furman all-time in a series that began in 1997 when the Spartans joined the SoCon. Furman had a stretch of six wins in eight matches from 1999-2003, but UNCG is 5-1-1 against the Paladins in the last seven meetings between the teams. The Spartans' lone loss to Furman in that stretch came in the 2007 SoCon tournament title game, when the Paladins' 3-1 victory snapped UNCG's 22-game winning streak against league competition. Two of the top teams in SoCon women's soccer history, UNCG and Furman have met in the SoCon tournament nine times, including five meetings in the title game.
- Furman has a chance Sunday to become just the fourth team to own at least 10 wins against the Spartans. The others are Duke (12) North Carolina (11) and Wake Forest (11). Furman has the most victories against UNCG of any SoCon team, as Davidson is next with five.
- UNCG took a 4-0 win in the last meeting between the squads, in Greensboro on Sept. 25 of last season. Four players scored for the Spartans in the Homecoming weekend win, as Kristin Player, Cat Barnekow, Tabitha Padgett and Kelly Attayek picked up goals. Keeper Kelsey Kearney made four saves in picking up the shutout.
- The Spartans topped Wofford on Friday, 3-0. Kearney made two saves in the contest for her seventh shutout of the season and the 26th of her career, setting a new school record. She passed Jennifer Stillman, who had 25 from 2002-05. UNCG got off to a hot start in the game, scoring all three goals in the first 11 minutes. Lauren Hein scored in the second minute, followed by a Jaimey Etten goal in the seventh. Jenn Partenheimer capped the scoring in the 11th minute and Kearney and the defense did the rest.
- Padgett, the reigning Southern Conference Co-Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, leads UNCG with 19 points on seven goals and a career-high five assists this season, matching her point total from her impressive rookie year. Kristen Schmidbauer is second with 14 points on five goals and four assists. Partenheimer is third with 13 points on a career-best six goals and one assist, while Barnekow has 12 points on two goals and a SoCon-best eight assists. Kearney has played all but 40 minutes in goal this season, posting a goals against average of 0.58 and a save percentage of .846 in 1,240:13. She has turned in seven shutouts and allowed just eight goals in 14 games.
- UNCG leads the SoCon in several categories: points per game (7.43), goals per game (2.36), goals (33) assists (38), assists per game (2.71), corner kicks per game (5.93), goals allowed (nine) and GAA (0.63). Barnekow leads the league in assists (eight) and assists per game (0.57), while Padgett leads in game-winning goals (four). Kearney leads the SoCon in GAA (0.58) and is second in save percentage (.846), shutouts (seven) and shutouts per game (0.50).
- Kearney is UNCG's and the SoCon's career leader in GAA, as she holds a mark of 0.63 in 51 matches played.
- Of UNCG's 33 goals scored thus far this season, 22 of them have come from underclassmen. Sophomores Padgett (seven), Hein (four), and Jessi Gulledge (three) account for 13, while freshmen Schmidbauer (five), Stine Schoening (one), Kory Spotts (one) and Lauren Lover (one) account for the other eight. Partenheimer, a senior, has scored six, while juniors Barnekow (two) and Etten (three) have the only other goals by upperclassmen.
- Furman sits fifth in the league standings at 3-2-2 with wins over Georgia Southern, Western Carolina and Chattanooga and draws with Davidson and Appalachian State. Samford dealt Furman its first league loss on Oct. 10, taking a 3-2 win in overtime in Birmingham, Ala., and the Paladins fell to Elon in double overtime on Friday, 3-2, for their second straight loss. Out of conference, Furman owns a 3-0 win over Alabama on Aug. 28 and lost a tough one to then-No. 21 South Carolina on Sept. 12, 1-0 in double overtime. Both contests were on the road.
- Furman lost a heartbreaker Friday, as Elon scored in the 109th minute to take the road win. The Paladins scored the first two goals of the game, getting a Rachel Shelnutt goal in the seventh minute and a Laura White score in the 21st to take an early 2-0 lead. Elon answered with goals in the 37th and 80th to force overtime before getting the golden goal just minutes before settling for the tie.
- Furman boasts the top two scorers in the SoCon in Shelnutt and Martha Hall. Shelnutt has nine goals and six assists for 24 points, while Hall has nine goals and three assists for 21. The duo shares the league lead in goals. Jessica Smith has played all 1,440 minutes in goal for the Paladins this season, and she owns a 1.00 GAA and an .849 save percentage. She has five shutouts.
- Furman leads the SoCon in total shots (234) and is second in points (96), points per game (6.40), goals (32), goals per game (2.13), assists (32) and assists per game (2.13) – and is second to UNCG in each category. Individually, Shelnutt leads the league in points (24), points per game (1.60), goals (nine), goals per game (0.60) and game-winning goals (four). Hall leads the SoCon in shots (57) and shots per game (3.80) and is tied with Shelnutt for the lead in goals (nine) and goals per game (0.60). Smith leads the league in save percentage at .849, just ahead of Kearney (.846).
- The Paladins are 5-3-1 at home this season, while UNCG is 5-1-1 away from home and 4-1-0 in true road matches. The Spartans' lone loss on the road and on the season came on Sept. 5 at Cal State Fullerton.
- UNCG -