Spartanburg, S.C. - The USC Upstate men's soccer team will face its second nationally-ranked opponent of the season when it makes the short trip to Greenville to take on No. 25 Furman Tuesday night at 7:00 at Stone Stadium. The Spartans will look to extend its winning streak to two games.
The game at Furman is the first of three matches this week as Upstate will open A-Sun play this weekend with home games against Lipscomb on Friday (7:00 p.m.) and Belmont on Sunday (2:00 p.m.). The game against the Paladins will close out the non-conference schedule for Upstate in 2011.
Upstate enters the game with a 3-3-0 overall record. The Spartans, though, have not played since claiming a 1-0 victory over VMI on Sept. 18, nine days between the victory over the Keydets and the contest at Furman. Furman enters the game with a 7-1-2 overall record. The Paladins broke into the NSCAA Top 25 poll last week. They went 1-0-1 last week, taking a 3-1 win over Presbyterian and a 0-0 tie at ETSU.
Furman owns a 4-3-2 lead in the all-time series with the two teams taking a 0-0 tie last year in Spartanburg. The Spartans are 0-1-1 against the Paladins since moving to Division I in 2007. Furman took a 5-0 victory during the 2008 campaign.
Fans can follow the action online in a variety of ways. Live stats, for free, and live video, for a fee, will be available at furmanpaladins.com, the official website of Furman Athletics. A complete game recap and box score will be available following the match at upstatespartans.com, the official website of Upstate Athletics.
Looking Back at VMI
Hakeem King scored in the 64th-minute in what was a relentless offensive attack by the Spartans as USC Upstate took a 1-0 victory over VMI in non-conference men's soccer action on Sept. 18 at County University Soccer Stadium. Although Upstate dictated the pace of play throughout the first half, the teams went into the locker room with a 0-0 score. After keeping relentless pressure on the VMI defense in the second half, Upstate broke through with a goal in the 64th-minute. Colin Francis took the ball down the left side and played a cross into the box where King put a shot into the back of the net to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. It was King's first goal of the season. Jason McCabe made a couple of diving saves late in the match as VMI fought to try to tie the match, but McCabe and the Spartan defense kept the Keydets off the scoreboard to maintain the shutout.
Doug Allison is in his 17th season as head coach of the Furman program. He has won 217 games in his career and brings a talented squad into action Tuesday night in Greenville. With a 7-1-2 record, the Paladins enter as the 25th-ranked team in the latest NSCAA Top 25 poll.
Furman began the season with a 0-0 tie of Campbell and a 1-0 loss against Duke. The Paladins then ran off seven-straight wins. A scoreless tie against ETSU snapped the seven-match winning steak, though the Paladins have an eight-game non-losing streak intact.
Furman has out-scored its opponents by 30 points this year. The Paladins have scored 16 goals and notched 14 assists on the year. Opponents have scored just six goals and added four assists. Coleton Henning and Martin Ontiveros lead the Paladin attack with six points apiece on the season. Henning tops the club with three goals, while Ontiveros has two goals and two assists. Four players have five points, while another has four. In all, 13 different Furman players have at least one point this season. Alec Kann has played every minute in the net for Furman and owns a 0.57 goals against average with 31 saves.
Looking Back at 2010
In what was a rainy, soggy game, Upstate and Furman battled to a scoreless tie after 110 minutes at County University Soccer Stadium. The Spartans and Paladins played in a constant heavy rain during the first half and had to deal with soggy playing conditions in the second in recording the tie. It was the second tie in the history of the series that dates back to the 1980 season. There wasn't much offensive attack for either team as the goalkeepers combined to make three saves on the night.
Playing a Tough Schedule
The fact that Upstate has played 35 games decided by one goal in four-plus years is a testament to the strong schedule the Spartans have played in Division I and how close they are to the strong competition they have faced. The schedule has certainly not been easy this season. Counting the Furman game Tuesday night, Upstate will have played two Top 25-ranked teams in its first seven games of the season. The Spartans played VCU on Sept. 11 when the Rams were ranked 16th in the nation. Furman is currently ranked No. 25.
Kadane, Richardson Named All-Tournament at Coastal Carolina Classic
Junior defender John Kadane and junior midfielder Kareem Richardson were named to the all-tournament team at the Coastal Carolina Classic (Sept. 9-11). Kadane helped lead the defensive effort for the Spartans. Despite the unit giving up five goals in two matches, Kadane and his group actually played tremendous defense, but fell victim to some costly mental mistakes which accounted for the majority of the scores. Richardson was solid in the midfield and helped distribute the ball forward for the Spartans.
Hoop-in It Up
Junior College transfer Dylan Hoop has certainly provided some positive moments early in the season for Upstate. He first made his presence felt when he scored two goals, the first and the last, in the Spartans' 5-1 victory over Spartanburg Methodist in the first scrimmage of the year for Upstate. Since the start of the regular season, he has been stellar and instrumental in Upstate's two wins so far this season.
He was simply solid while having a say in both of Upstate's goal in the 2-0 victory over Presbyterian College (Sept. 2). He assisted on the game-winning goal by John Kadane, then added an insurance goal in the second half to lead the Spartans to the win. Against Southern Wesleyan (Sept. 5), he scored the game's only goal to lift the Spartans to a 1-0 victory over the Warriors. Hoop has accounted for five of Upstate's 11 points on the year.
Foerster Picking Up Where He Left Off
Last year, Timo Foerster topped the Spartans and ranked sixth in the A-Sun with six assists on the year. This season, he has picked up right where he left off. He tops Upstate and ranks seventh in the A-Sun with two assists. With 13 career assists, he is the career leader at Upstate during the Division I era.
Tracking the One-Goal Games
Upstate has had a tough time dealing with one-goal decisions throughout its Division I era which began in 2007. Just last season, the Spartans dropped six games by a single goal. This season, Upstate is 2-2-0 in one-goal decisions. The Spartans dropped a 2-1 game against Wofford (Aug. 29) to open the season and took a 1-0 victory over Southern Wesleyan (Sept. 5). Upstate has also taken a 1-0 loss to George Washington (Sept. 11) in the Coastal Carolina Classic. Upstate took a 1-0 victory over VMI (Sept. 18).
Since joining Division I in 2007, Upstate has played 35 matches which were decided by one goal. The Spartans own a 10-25 record in those contests. In 2009 alone, Upstate had 11 games decided by one goal with the Spartans winning four times.
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 97 matches in the facility and have won 62 times. The Spartans own a 62-28-7 overall record in the stadium, a record that has included hosting Peach Belt and NCAA Division II National Tournament games. Their winning percentage is .674 in 11 years in the stadium. The Spartans play seven regular season games at County University Soccer Stadium in 2011.
McCabe in the Books
Starting senior goalkeeper Jason McCabe is a seasoned veteran in the net for the Spartans. In his third season as the starter in goal, he has put his name in the record books at Upstate. He currently ranks sixth all-time with 189 saves, trailing three players who are members of the Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame. His 1.86 goals against average ranks 10th all-time, while his 3,391 minutes in goal is sixth. During Upstate's Division I era, he tops the program with 189 saves, a .730 save percentage, a 1.86 goals against average and seven wins. He ranks third with 4.84 saves per game.