October 13, 2010

Spartans Set for Conference Pair

Game Notes

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's soccer team is set to face a pair of conference foes from the Sunshine State this weekend.

The Spartans will battle North Florida on Friday night before hosting Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon.

At A Glance...

• Scouting the Ospreys and the Dolphins

• Looking Back at Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson

• Spartan Pair Rank in A-Sun Top-10

• 2010 Spartan Honor Roll

Scouting the Ospreys

North Florida enters Friday's match with a 1-7-0 record (0-3-0 A-Sun).  The Ospreys lone victory of the season came on Sept. 18, when they defeated Longwood, 1-0.  To open conference play, the Ospreys fell at home to Jacksonville, 1-0, on Oct. 3, before falling at home to Belmont (L, 1-2 OT, Oct. 8) and Lipscomb (L, 2-3, Oct. 10).

Ricky Lawrence leads UNF in assists (2), points (6), shots (11) and shots on-goal.  Lawrence is tied for the team lead in goals (2) with Greg Crowell.  The Ospreys have used three different goal keepers this season, with Tyler Willetts seeing the majority of time.  In 545 minutes of action, Willets owns a GAA of 1.82, making 37 saves while allowing eight goals.

Fans not in attendance can watch the action live online at ASun.TV by visiting the service's web site, www.asun.tv, and clicking on the USC Upstate tab. Fans can also receive live statistical updates by visiting the official Upstate Athletics Web site at www.upstatespartans.com.

Scouting the Dolphins

Jacksonville enters the third weekend of conference play with a 6-5-1 mark and 1-2-0 in league play.  The Dolphins downed UNF, 1-0, to open the conference slate.  After picking up that victory, they fell at home to Lipscomb, 4-2, on Oct. 8, before falling to Belmont, 3-2, on Oct. 10.

Nedim Hurstic and Darko Karamatic are the offensive leaders for the Dolphins in 2010.  Hurstic has scored seven goals while Karamatic has five.  Three Jacksonville players have notched three goals a piece in 2010.  Karamatic is tied for the team lead in assists (3), while leading the team in shots (40) and shots on-goal (22).  Johnny Foley has logged 979 minutes out of a possible1124 in goal this season.  Foley has made 44 saves, while allowing 19 goals (1.75 GAA).

Fans not in attendance can watch the action live online at ASun.TV by visiting the service's web site, www.asun.tv, and clicking on the USC Upstate tab. Fans can also receive live statistical updates by visiting the official Upstate Athletics Web site at www.upstatespartans.com.

Looking Back at Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson

To open the road portion of the conference schedule, Upstate traveled to Fort Myers, Fla., to battled the 25th-ranked Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast.  The Eagles scored in the 18th and 64th minutes to claim the 2-0 victory over the Spartans.  Following Friday's match, the Spartans made the trek to DeLand, Fla., to face off against Stetson.  The Hatters scored in the 34th-minute and appeared to be heading to the 1-0 victory until Michael Rankin-Byrne scored in the 89th-minute to send the match to OT.  In the second-overtime, Rankin-Byrne nearly netted the game-winner but a tremendous save by Stetson's Adnreas Schnabl kept the match at 1-1.  In the 105th-minute, Stetson scored to claim the 2-1 victory over the Spartans.

Samurai Shutdown

Sporting a new gameday hairstyle in 2010, similar to that of a samurai warrior, senior goalkeeper Jason McCabe has been a force in goal for the Spartans.  McCabe earned Atlantic Sun Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors (Sept. 28) as he led Upstate to a 1-0-1 record in the final non-conference matches of the season.  In the 1-0 victory over UNC Ashville on Sept. 22, McCabe made five saves as the Spartans picked up their first shutout victory since the move to Division I in 2007.  The Irmo, S.C, product followed with another outstanding outing on Sept. 25 as he held the Furman Paladins scoreless for 110 minutes as the two teams battled to a 0-0 draw.  For the week, McCabe finished with 200 minutes of shutout soccer behind seven saves en route to a 1-0-1 record.

Deliver with Care: Timo's Helpers

Junior midfielder Timo Foerster recorded an assist on all three goals the Spartans scored in the season opener at Georgia Southern (9/1).  Hakeem King, John Kadane and John Collins tallied the three Spartan goals against the Eagles.  His three assists are tied for the single-match high in the A-Sun this season.  Foerster recorded his fourth assist of 2010 in the match against Presbyterian (9/7) as he assisted on Hakeem King's goal in the 30th-minute.  The Oberkirk, Germany, native leads Upstate with four assists in 2010.  In the A-Sun, he is tied for sixth in both assists and assists per match (0.40).  Foerster, who needs just one more assist to match his total from the 2009 campaign, is tied for the team lead in points (4).   

Spartans in the A-Sun

Aside from Timo Foerster's pair of top-10 rankings in the A-Sun, Jason McCabe also finds his name in the top-10 of the A-Sun in several categories. McCabe ranks second in the conference in saves (46), fourth in saves per match (4.18) and fifth in shutouts (2).  He is also tied for fifth in shuouts per match (0.18) and eighth in both GAA (1.52) and save percentage (.719).

The Real McCoys

After missing the entire 2009 campaign due to injury, twin brothers Chad and Chris McCoy made their return to the field in the match at Georgia Southern (9/1).  Chris, who had surgery on each hip in 2008, has started nine games as a defender for Coach Hooks this season.  Meanwhile, Chad had ankle surgery during the spring of 2009 and missed the '09 season due to his rehabilitation.  Chad, a forward, has seen action against Georgia Southern, Presbyterian, UNC Asheville and Mercer

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!: 2010 Spartan Honor Roll

Through the first few weeks of the 2010-11 academic year, the men's soccer team has had a player selected as Sprint Spartan of the Week three times (out of a possible four selections).  Timo Foerster earned the first honor on Aug. 23 after scoring a goal and recording an assist in the preseason exhibition match against Spartanburg Methodist College (8/19).  Hakeem King collected the second consecutive honor on Aug. 30 after scoring the game-winning goal in the 2-1 exhibition victory over Clemson (8/24).  Jason McCabe became the third men's soccer player to earn the honor on Sept. 13 after helping lead the Spartans to a 1-1 draw against Presbyterian College (9/7).  McCabe earned his second Sprint Spartan of the Week award on Sept. 27 after earning A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week honors (9/27) behind 200 minutes of shutout soccer against UNC Asheville (W, 1-0) and Furman (T, 0-0, 2OT).  Freshman Michael Rankin-Byrne earned Sprint Spartan of the Week honors (10/11), after notching his first collegiate goal in the 89th-minute at Stetson and nearly netted the game winner in the 103rd-minute.

Upstate Men's Soccer Fully Eligible

While Upstate men's soccer is just in its fourth year of competing on the NCAA Division I level, it is became fully eligible for postseason A-Sun and NCAA tournament play in 2009. Upstate, upon declaring its intention to move to D-I membership, tapped the men's soccer and softball teams as fast-track sports into NCAA Division I. Upstate's remaining 15 sports will become eligible beginning with the 2011-12 academic year.

Spartans Strong At Home

Since moving into County University Soccer Stadium, the Upstate men's soccer program has been tough to beat. Actually, since the inception of the program in 1980, the Spartans have been stout on the Spartanburg campus.  Upstate is an impressive 59-22-7 at the friendly confines of County University Soccer Stadium for a winning percentage of .710. Overall, Upstate is 228-56-17 at home for a .786 winning percentage in Spartanburg. Upstate played its first season in the quad behind the Administrative Building prior to moving to historic Rifle Field in 1981. The Spartans (then, the Rifles) tallied a 162-30-10 record for a .802 winning percentage at Rifle Field.

Spartan Soccer - A Story of Success

While the USC Upstate Athletics Department has had a storied history of success throughout its existence, the men's soccer program has achieved success on a more consistent level than any other program at the University. Upstate men's soccer finished third in the NAIA National Tournament three straight years from 1983-85 and made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances in 16 years in the NCAA Division II. The Spartans claimed seven regular season Peach Belt Conference championships, nine Peach Belt Conference Tournament titles, and advanced to the championship game of the league tournament 14 times in 16 years.

These Days in History

On today's game date, Oct. 15, these notable events occurred: The War Memorial Opera House opened in San Francisco, Calif. and it was the first municipally-owned opera palace (1932)... "I Love Lucy" debuted on CBS-TV (1951)... The Baltimore Orioles overcame an early deficit as they defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 9-3, to win the World Series in five games (1970)... Chart toppers include: "Sail On" by the Commodores (1979) and "Here I Go Again" by White Snake (1987)... Notable birthdays include: Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer (1945)... Dutchess of York Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson (1959)... Celebrity chef Emril Lagasse (1959).

On this day in Spartan history (Oct. 15), men's soccer player Bob Cheshier records a single-match school-record five assists in Upstate's 9-0 victory at Lander.  Cheshier's five assists is still the best single-match performance in school history (1981).

On today's game date, Oct. 17, these notable events occurred: The first issue of "National Geographic" hit newsstands (1888)... The Pittsburgh Pirates won the 1971 fall classic as they defeated the Baltimore Orioles in seven games (1971)... Intel introduced the 32-bit microcomputer chip, it ran at clock spees of up to 33 MHz, blazingly fast at the time (1985)... "I Know What You Did Last Summer" opened in theatres (1997)... Chart topppers included: "Yesterday" by the Beatles (1965) and "Ramblin' Man" by The Allman Brothers Band... Notable birthdays include: Country music singer Alan Jackson (1958)... Actor/Comedian Norm MacDonald (1963)... PGA Golfer Ernie Els (1969)... Rapper Eminem (1972).

On this day in Spartan history (Oct. 17),  Upstate cross country runner Gilbert Kemboi claims the top spot at the USC Upstate Invitational after posting a time of 24:38.68 (2009).