GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Stetson women's soccer team (2-6-0) was defeated by Furman (7-1-0) on the road Sunday afternoon by a score of 4-1. Junior Alyssa Welsh scored the lone Hatter goal, tallying her team-leading third of the season.
The Paladins, who were ranked ninth in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Region Poll, picked up their sixth straight victory on Sunday. Furman has now won nine straight tilts at the friendly confines of its home stadium.
"We were brilliant for the first 10 minutes," Head Coach Julie Orlowski said following the game. "They're goalkeeper made a fantastic save to keep it tied early, but unfortunately we weren't able to get anything on the scoreboard. After the first 10 in the opening half, we didn't have a lot of answers for what they threw at us.
Stephanie DeVita came into Sunday's contest sixth in the nation with seven goals on the season. The Furman freshman put the Hatters behind on the scoreboard when she scored off of an assist from Martha Hall in the 18th minute of play.
After Hall connected on a penalty kick in the 28th minute, it was DeVita again scoring for the Paladins, putting Stetson in a deep 3-0 hole thanks to assists from Kristin Fennegan and Ali Simpson with under 10 minutes to play in the first half.
"She's a very good attacker, but I thought we defended her well," Orlowski said of DeVita. "The goals that she scored were good goal-scorer's goals. On both scores, she just found a way to sneak a shot past a couple of defenders, but she certainly puts their team on another level."
The Hatters began the second half well, scoring their first goal of the contest just over 12 minutes into the frame. Welsh kept Stetson in the game, beating the Furman goalkeeper to the left corner of the net from 16 yards out.
"She found a soft spot right in front of their defense," Orlowski said of Welsh on the play. "We were able to find her in that spot and she did what goal-scorers do. She made them pay for making a mistake in the back. If she can continue that trend, we'll be happy."
Unfortunately for the Hatters, they weren't able to tally another score in the second half, and Furman added a fourth in the 79th minute. Hall recorded her second assist of the game, finding Alyssa Althoff for her third score of the season.
"The second half went very well for us," Orlowski continued. "Victoria [Troccoli] was a big part of that. It's not often that you come off the field losing 4-1 and say that you're goalkeeper was absolutely amazing, but she was."
Troccoli finished with seven saves in the defeat, while Rose Hull tallied two in just 45 minutes for the Paladins. Furman led in both shots (21-12) and corner kicks (8-3) over the course of the 90 minutes.
"A big difference in the game was that we didn't have the depth that we usually do," Orlowski concluded. "Illness and injury kind of took their toll on us. We did battle back though. The 15 players we did have play today, all did very well."
Next up for Stetson is the start of Atlantic Sun Conference play. The Hatters will travel to ETSU on Friday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m., and then play at USC Upstate on Sunday, September 23 at 1:00 p.m.