GREENVILLE, South Carolina – Led by two goals from senior Madison Melnick, UNCW jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on to hand Furman its first loss of the season with a 4-2 non-conference verdict at Stone Soccer Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Seahawks, who are the top-ranked team in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region poll, upped their record to 5-1-1 while the Paladins dropped to 4-1-1 on the season.
"I thought that was a very good team victory today," Coach Paul Cairney said. "We had to rely on a lot of different after the injuries we have dealt with. Furman is coached very well and has an incredibly talented group of attackers. To come on the road and score four goals gives us a nice lift when we needed it. I am really proud of our team."
Redshirt freshman forward Kirsten Bootes gave UNCW a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute when she scored the first goal of her career off assists from junior forwards Serenity Waters and Meg Salvadore.
The Seahawks upped the advantage to 2-0 in the 57th minute when freshman midfielder Baley Edwardsvolleyed a shot over goalkeeper Rose Hull for her second goal of the season.
Melnick scored twice in a seven-minute span to expand the margin to 4-0 with 21:49 remaining. She scored on a header off a corner kick in the 62nd minute before adding her third goal of the season after connecting on a free kick by junior defender Savannah Andrews.
Furman ended the Seahawks' shutout bid in the 70th minute when junior forward Willough Davis netted her second goal of the season past senior goalkeeper Liisa Rahkola.
The Paladins trimmed the margin to 4-2 less than two minutes later when freshman forward Amanda Baker tallied her second goal of the year, but Furman was unable to get any closer.
Making her first start of the season, Rahkola tallied two saves as UNCW held Furman to just five shots, including two in the first half.
"Liisa came in and gave us an excellent start," Cairney said. "I am also really happy for Kirsten Bootes to get on the scoresheet with her first career goal."
Hull and freshman Kellsey Weaver combined to make two saves for the Paladins, who lost at home for just the second time in their last 18 matches dating back to last season.
#SeahawkStats: UNCW earned its second win in the last three meetings against Furman … The Paladins still hold a 3-2-1 series advantage in the all-time series … UNCW became the first team to score against Furman this season, ending a shutout streak of 510 minutes, 30 seconds … The Seahawks improved to an impressive 4-0-0 on the road this season while outscoring their opponents by a 16-2 margin … UNCW netted two or more goals for the sixth time in seven games this year and are now 5-0-1 in those contests … Since the start of the 2014 season, the Seahawks are 25-2-3 when scoring two or more goals … Melnick recorded the first multi-goal game of her college career … The Seahawks have outshot their opponent in all seven games this season.
Up Next for UNCW: The Seahawks return home to begin a three-game homestand on Friday, Sept. 16, against former Colonial Athletic Association rival George Mason at 7 p.m.