After three straight ties, the Mercer Women's soccer team came into their Oct. 22 game against Furman and Sunday’s game against Wofford hoping to break the equilibrium. They succeeded, avoiding a tie for the first time since Oct. 15, but fell to Furman 3-4 while defeating Wofford 3-0.
The Furman game was an uphill battle from the get-go, as the Paladins scored in the 15th minute off the foot of sophomore forward Nieva Gaither. From there, Gaither scored another goal before the half in the 42nd minute.
Down 2-0 at the half, the Bears had a mountain to climb. The peak of that mountain, however, only grew higher as Furman forward Jasmine Greene scored another goal for the Paladins in the 58th minute to go up 3-0.
With their backs against the wall, the Bears finally began putting together some offense. It started with midfielder Chandler Lewis-Jenkins breaking through the net in the 58th minute. Furman midfielder Isabella Gutierrez then answered that goal in the 62nd minute to push the lead to 4-1 Furman.
As the game began to wind down, Mercer midfielder Ally Fordham scored in the 75th minute while forward Aliah Kitchens found the net in the 81st minute. Mercer had more shots on goal, 27 compared to 17 for Furman, but could not find the net enough times to avoid the 3-4 loss as the comeback effort came up short.
Staying at home for the third straight game, the Bears welcomed the Wofford Terriers and took them down 3-0.
The Terriers couldn’t keep it together and committed as many fouls as they took shots with 11 each. The Bears, on the other hand, took 26 shots and committed only three fouls on the day.
Three Mercer players scored goals: midfielder Pace Stephenson in the 49th minute, Kitchens in the 69th minute, and Fordham in the 86th minute.
The Bears finished the season with a 6-5-5 record, going 3-2-4 in conference play, and will be the fifth seed heading into the Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship. They will play fourth seed ETSU on Friday.
Keith Holmes Jr. ‘22 is a journalism and creative writing double major who has worked with The Cluster as general staff since his Sophomore year. Keith has received Best in SNO awards for his sports articles along with years of work at Mercer’s ESPN3 branch. Keith spends his free time playing video games and writing fiction around campus.