Spartanburg, S.C. - USC Upstate continues its theme of playing traditional rivals when it travels to Presbyterian College Friday night for a 7:00 pm match against the Blue Hose at Martin Stadium in Clinton. Upstate opened the season last Monday against Wofford, dropping a 2-1 decision.
Upstate enters the game with an 0-1-0 record after dropping its season opener to Wofford. Presbyterian is 0-1-0 as well, having lost to East Tennessee State, 3-0. The Spartans and Blue Hose have played 22 times in the all-time series, with Upstate owning a 14-5-3 lead. PC, though, is 2-1-1 against Upstate since both teams moved its athletics program to Division I in 2007-08.
Fans can follow the action online in a variety of ways. Live stats will be available for free at www.gobluehose.com, the official PC Athletics website. Live video for a fee will also be available on the site. Game stats and a recap will be available on upstatespartans.com following the contest.
Upstate was led by a pair of seniors in the season opener against Wofford. Colin Francis (Toronto, Ontario) scored the Spartans' lone goal of the game, while Jason McCabe (Irmo, S.C.) notched four saves in goal. Tanner Osborne collected a pair of saves for PC in its loss to ETSU. ETSU was the A-Sun Tournament champions a year ago and took the 3-0 win over the Blue Hose.
Looking Back at Wofford
Wofford scored just 18 seconds into the game and added another goal in the first half to open a 2-0 lead. Upstate, battled back throughout the second half and had three golden opportunities to score, but each time the shots were just wide of the goal as the Terriers took a 2-1 victory to open the season for both teams Monday night at County University Soccer Stadium.
Upstate scored with less than a minute left in the game to cut the 2-0 deficit to 2-1, but the Spartans could get no closer so late in the game as the Terriers held on for the win. The Spartans had two shots that hit off the post in the second half that could have easily put Upstate tied or ahead on the scoreboard. Colin Francis took a free kick late in the game and curved the ball into the net for the Spartans' goal. Goalkeeper Jason McCabe collected four saves on the night to keep the Spartans in the game. Upstate owned a 19-11 lead in shots and a 7-6 margin corner kicks over Wofford.
Another 1-Goal Loss
Upstate had a tough time pulling out close wins a year ago and the start of the 2011 season was no different as the Spartans took a 2-1 loss to Wofford in the season opener Monday night at County University Soccer Stadium. Last year, Upstate dropped six games by a goal.
Musambi Makes Presence Felt
Freshman Dave Musambi, from Ottawa, Ontario, entered Monday night's game against Wofford late in the first half. He played most of the second half and sparked Upstate late in the game. He had two shots, one a header and one a rifle shot from close range, that hit the post. Despite not notching a goal, Musambi gave Upstate a lift up top and is expected to continue to give energy to the striker position.
Looking Back at the Scrimmages
Upstate opened the 2011 season with a pair of scrimmages, taking a 5-1 victory over Spartanburg Methodist and tying Gardner-Webb. The Spartans welcomed SMC to County University Soccer Stadium on Aug. 17. Seniors Timo Foerster and Jan Wienholt showed tremendous leadership, while newcomer Dylan Hoop came through in a big way. Foerster recorded an assist and later scored a goal, while Wienholt notched a pair of goals. Hoop, a transfer from Cincinnati State, scored two goals as well. He notched the first goal of the match and closed out the scoring as well. The Spartans held the Pioneers to just one shot over the final 60 minutes of play.
Against Gardner-Webb, Upstate scored first when Michael Rankin-Byrne took the ball down the left sideline and lifted a pass to Hakeem King in the middle of the field about 25 yards out. King moved in and lifted a shot over the charging Bulldog keeper and into the back of the net to open the scoring. Gardner-Webb would come back to tie the game in the second half and the teams played to a 90-minute, 1-1, draw.
Spartans Return Veteran Group
Heading into its fifth season playing on the NCAA Division I level and in the A-Sun, Upstate returns its most experienced team since the days of Division II. The Spartans have 13 lettermen and eight starters returning from last year's team. There are 18 upperclassmen on the squad, including nine seniors. Of the nine seniors, six see significant action, including Jason McCabe (goalkeeper), Timo Foerster (midfielder), Hakeem King (forward), Colin Francis (midfielder), Jan Wienholt (midfielder) and Chris McCoy (defender).
Upstate also returns much of its scoring from a year ago. While leading scorer Maurice Beggs (8 points) exhausted his eligibility, seven of the top 10 scorers from a year ago have returned for 2010. Foerster led the Spartans and ranked sixth in the A-Sun with six assists as the team's second leading scorer. King was the third-leading scorer with four points, all on goals. McCabe totaled a 1.84 goals against average and ranked second in the A-Sun with 69 points.
Looking for Win No. 200
In a career that has been marked with tremendous success, Upstate head coach Greg Hooks is on the verge of recording win No. 200 in his 17 years at the helm of the Spartan program. Hooks took over the team in 1995 and coached the squad to the championship game of the NCAA Division II Tournament. He has posted 195 wins at Upstate, just six shy of 200. He is 18 wins short of reaching 300 in his career.
McCabe Logs the Minutes
To say that starting goalkeeper Jason McCabe logged some serious minutes in the net last year for Upstate is an understatement. The fifth-year senior in 2011 played all but 45 minutes in goal for the Spartans last season. He tallied 1,469 of Upstate's 1,514 minutes. McCabe sat out the 2009 season and received a red-shirt year, which he is using in 2011.
Upstate Tops 400 Career Wins
Arguably the top program in the history of the Upstate Athletics Department, the men's soccer team has won 410 matches in its history that dates back to the inaugural season in 1980. The Spartans own a 410-164-91 record and made 10 appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Frustrating Losses in 2010
While Upstate's 1-12-3 overall record in 2010 was not stellar, it was also deceiving. The Spartans dropped six games by a single goal and another two by two goals. A break here or there could have turned the season around for the Spartans. Four of the six one-goal losses came during A-Sun play.
McCabe a Decorated Keeper
Senior goalkeeper Jason McCabe has received recognition for his play in the net during his time in an Upstate uniform. As a freshman in 2007, he was named the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Spartans to a sweep of Belmont and Lipscomb. Last year, he also earned Defensive Player of the Week honors from the A-Sun when he posted back-to-back shutouts in a 1-0 win over UNC Asheville and a 0-0 tie of Furman.
Upstate Strong at Home
Since opening County University Soccer Stadium with a 1-0 victory over Colorado School of Mines and former Upstate head coach and current Athletics Hall of Fame member Frank Kohlenstein in 2001, the Spartans have enjoyed playing in the friendly confines of County University Soccer Stadium. Upstate has played 94 matches in the facility and have won 60 times. The Spartans own a 60-28-7 overall record in the stadium, a record that has included hosting Peach Belt and NCAA Division II National Tournament games. Their winning percentage is .676 in 11 years in the stadium. The Spartans play seven regular season games at County University Soccer Stadium in 2011.