September 17, 2007

Spartans Fall at VMI

Sept. 16, 2007

Box Score

Lexington, Va. - Despite a gritty performance playing with 10 men for most of the second half, USC Upstate dropped its fourth straight game in a 2-1 loss to VMI Sunday afternoon at Patchin Field.

Upstate falls to 0-4-0 on the year, while VMI improves to 2-2-1 and remains undefeated at home. Upstate travels to Newberry Friday afternoon and then plays its home opener Sunday against Georgia State.

VMI opened the scoring when Brian Harding played a cross into the box from the left flank to Wythe Horbal. Horbal headed the ball into the back of the net in the 15th minute to give the Keydets a 1-0 lead. The score remained a 1-0 VMI lead at the intermission.

Upstate controlled the pace of the game in the first half and pressured VMI keeper Brian Sowell by taking eight shots. VMI, on the other hand, took just two shots in the half, but made one count for the 1-0 lead at halftime.

The second half opened with a bang as Upstate defender Chris McCoy was sent off the field with a red card following a stoppage of play in the game's 51st minute. However, that did not faze the Spartans, as senior midfielder Troy Simon posted his first goal of the season from the right side of the box to knot the match at 1-1.

The Keydets answered quickly, with Harding converting his first career goal just two minutes later on an assist from freshman midfielder David Hill. The goal stood up as the game-winner, despite eight second-half shots from the Spartans, who already this season have dropped narrow decisions to Clemson (2-0) and Radford (2-1 OT).

Sowell was credited with seven saves in the win, while Upstate keeper Jason McCabe, making his first career start, made three saves while taking the loss. The Spartans held advantages in shots (15-13) and corner kicks (6-3), however saw all three cards issued in the contest go against them and played a man down for the final 39 minutes of the game.