October 23, 2009

Greenville, S.C. -- Shanna Schmoker and Rachael Shomper each netted a goal in the opening 23 minutes to lead Western Carolina past Furman 2-0 in Southern Conference women’s soccer action on Friday night at Stone Soccer Stadium.

The loss drops Furman to 10-6-0 overall and 4-5-0 in the SoCon. With Elon’s victory at The Citadel, Davidson’s win at Chattanooga and Samford’s victory over Georgia Southern, the Paladins were eliminated from contention for a berth in the SoCon Tournament. Western Carolina upped its mark to 6-6-5 overall and 3-3-3 inside the league.

Schmoker put the Catamounts on top at the 8:21 mark. Nikki Collins shot was saved by Furman goalkeeper Jessica Smith, but the rebound bounced into the path of Schmoker who fired into an empty net for her second goal of the season. Shomper doubled the lead in the 23rd minute as Jenny Matteson’s ball into the box was deflected into Shomper’s path. She curled a shot just inside the right post for her fourth goal of the campaign at 22:44.

Furman created several first half chances, but the Paladins were unable to capitalize. Sara El-Shami bent a long ball onto the foot of Martha Hall as she raced behind the Catamount defense, but her first touch was too strong allowing Western Carolina keeper Caitlin Williams to pounce on the ball. Katya Gokhman nearly pulled back a goal with a first half free kick on frame, but Williams once again answered the challenge tipping the long range effort off of the cross bar.

Williams totaled four saves to earn the shutout for the Catamounts. Smith stopped five shots in the loss for Furman. Western Carolina held a 12-11 edge in shots and 7-4 advantage in shots on goal.

The Catamounts travel to Wofford on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Furman will host Appalachian State on Sunday at 3 p.m.

"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"