Spartans Fall in Season Opener

STATESBORO, Ga. – In the season opener for both the USC Upstate men's soccer team and the Georgia Southern Eagles, the home standing Eagles claimed a 4-3 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Eagle Field.

Upstate got on the board first when Hakeem King (Port of Spain, Trindad/St. Mary's College) scored in the 25th-minute on a header of off Timo Foerster's (Oberkirk, Germany/Hans Furler Gymnasium) corner kick from the left side.

GSU tied the score at 1-1 when Ethan LaPan scored on a give and go from the right side of the box. LaPan's goal came in the 32nd-minute and the two teams remained tied at 1-1 at intermission.

In the second half, both teams came out firing with two shots finding the back of the net in the first two minutes of the period.  The Eagles took a 2-1 lead after just 38 seconds when Rich Heyer scored on a pass from Thomas Valikonis.

The Spartans tied the score at 2-2 when John Kadane's (Garland, Texas/John Paul II) header found the back of the net.  Kadane was assisted on the play by Timo Foerster at the 46:42 mark.

Senior Jason McCabe (Irmo, S.C./Dutch Fork) made a tremendous save as he dove to the left in the 52nd-minute, denying Jon Cox's penalty shot.  McCabe finished the match with three saves, all of which came in the final period.  GSU keeper Ryan Platt tallied five saves in the match.

Upstate took the lead when John Collins (Cape Cod, Mass./Barnstable) found the back of the net in the 53rd-minute.  Collins delivered the header off of Foerster's third assist of the match.

The back and forth affair continued as GSU tied the match at 3-3 when Witt Carlisle scored in the 67th-minute.  In the 82nd-minute, Carlisle scored again and put the Eagles ahead for good, 4-3.

GSU owned a 15-12 advantage in shots, but Upstate owned the advantage in shots on-goal (8-7).  Upstate was called for 15 fouls and one offsides penalty compared to nine fouls and two offsides for the Eagles.

Upstate will return to action on Saturday when it returns to the state of Georgia.  The Spartans will battle with the Georgia State Panthers in Atlanta for a 7:00 p.m. kick.