Written by Kirsten Janes, Staff Writer
Sitting at 11-4-1 and currently undefeated in Southern Conference play, women’s soccer is looking to make a run for the title. With Kellsey Weaver in the box allowing only one goal in southern conference play, and a connected forward line of Kyndal Anderson, Caitlyn Reilly and Erin Houlihan beating out opponents, the women’s squad seemingly has no weaknesses. The team has claimed the number one spot in SoCon rankings with a 7-0 league record.
Starting the winning streak in overtime against Chattanooga, freshman standout Anderson scored in the 95th minute to start the winning streak. The redshirt freshman has pushed the young team into many of its victories, earning SoCon Offensive Player of the Week earlier this month. This honor comes after scoring in both of Furman’s opening southern conference games, and netting seven goals to tie for second most goals scored in the league.
Senior defenseman Erin O’Hearn was also honored in September, winning SoCon Player of the Month after pushing the team to a 4-3-1 opening record, including a tie against Clemson, and a 7-0 win over USC Upstate. O’Hearn helped extend the ‘Dins winning streak to five after netting a header late in the first half of a matchup against Western Carolina.
Backing up O’Hearn and Arianna Milicia is veteran goalkeeper, Weaver. Named SoCon Defensive Player of the Week once this year, and multiple times over her time at Furman, Weaver is arguably one of the teams strongest, and most consistent weapons. She has had nine shut-outs this season and three tough saves in the 1-0 win over Western Carolina.
In Friday’s Homecoming game against Wofford, the women’s squad showed focus and drive, despite numerous injured veterans. The 2-0 win against the rival Terriers pushed the ‘Dins to 7-0 in SoCon play to remain easily at the head of the league.
Sophomore Isabella Gutierrez scored at the 16 minute mark, putting the Paladins to an early lead. Late into the first half and throughout the second, the team controlled offensive play, pushing the Terriers further into their box. On a Wofford mistake, O’Hearn was able to push through traffic and sink the ‘Dins second goal of the night, and her fifth of the season. With another SoCon win safe, the team was able to play out some of its newer members. Numerous injured veterans allowed the patched up squad to show strength in their depth chart, starting two different goalkeepers in freshman Nora Sampson and senior Sarah Rinker, and filling in a struggling forward line with younger members.
As of mid October, Furman women’s soccer is ranked 65th nationally, above SEC standouts Georgia and Auburn. The women’s team looks on to two southern conference matches at the The Citadel and Mercer to finish off their season before making a play at the title in early November.