MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - The College of Charleston men's soccer team battled No. 33 Furman to a 2-2 draw at Patriots Point on Saturday night in Southern Conference action. The Cougars led twice but Furman had an answer both times to force an ultimately scoreless overtime.
"We probably played the best first half we have all season," said head coach Ralph Lundy. "We were very good and played tight defense, attacked well, held the ball a great deal of the time and scored a brilliant goal.
"Furman stepped it up in the second half and did well at playing balls forward. We needed to deal with that a little better. Both of their goals came on restarts and they put a lot of pressure on us with corner kicks but we fought and fought.
"It was just a battle and I'm proud of my players. They had to fight and work hard. The game was played at a high level so it was a quality match indicative of the quality of the Southern Conference. We wanted to win but we've got to take one step at a time and tonight was a very good effort."
The first half of the match was quiet and flowed from end to end until the Cougars notched a beautiful goal in the 33rd minute. Sean de Silva (Port of Spain, Trinidad) sent a ball from the left side of the box to the far side which was perfectly touched over a defender's head to the boot of Eric Fornell (Daniel Island, S.C.) who volleyed it into the upper-right corner of the net for his first collegiate goal.
Furman was much more offensive in the second half and put eight shots on frame and took away nine corner kicks in the period. They finally equalized the match in the 56th minute on one such corner-kick attempt when Daniel Hojaij sent the ball over everybody except Amadu Ndiaye who one-touched it inside the far post.
CofC took the lead right back minutes later on a free kick from just outside the top of the box. Ralphie Lundy (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) took the kick with his left foot and bent the ball around the Paladins' defensive wall and back into the right-side netting to put CofC up, 2-1.
Furman equalized for a second time in the 77th when Clint Ritter sent a ball deep into the box, Alex Crooks headed it back to the six-yard mark and Coleton Henning blasted it into the back of the net from there.
The teams battled out the remaining minutes without finding the net to require the extra time. The overtime periods didn't yield any real chances either way but CofC outshot Furman, 3-1, in overtime with all three shots going on goal.
The Cougars break from SoCon play to host Wake Forest on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at Patriots Point. The match will be sponsored by Roper St. Francis and be presented on the FOX Soccer Channel.