Spartans Fall on the Road at Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Fla. – In what was a sloppy game played in heavy rain, Jacksonville scored two goals in the first half to gain control of the match and went on to take a 3-0 victory over USC Upstate in A-Sun men's soccer action Friday night.
Upstate dropped its first A-Sun game of the season and fell to 1-1-1 in the conference. The Spartans have four points in the standings and own a 4-5-1 overall record. Upstate will remain in Jacksonville to take on North Florida Sunday afternoon at 1:00. Jacksonville improved to 5-5-1 overall and 2-0-0 with six points in the A-Sun.
"We gave up a goal really early that put us behind," said Upstate head coach Greg Hooks. "We fought hard after that, but I thought Jacksonville outplayed us. We will move on from this and focus on Sunday's game at North Florida. It is a critical game to see how well we bounce back from tonight."
Jacksonville took advantage of an early scoring opportunity in the fifth-minute of play. Nick Rodriguez played a ball to Darko Karamatic and Karamatic put the shot away just 4:19 into the match to give the Dolphins a 1-0 lead.
Both teams settled in after the quick first goal and played the next 36 minutes without a score until Jacksonville netted a late goal to take a 2-0 lead at halftime. Daniele Campailla took a shot that was deflected and the ball came down under the control of Trey Collins. Collins finished off the opportunity to give Jacksonville a 2-0 lead in the 41st-minute.
While Jacksonville notched two goals in the first half, Upstate also produced scoring opportunities. The Spartans just couldn't break through. Upstate took 10 shots in the first half to Jacksonville's 11. However, only four of those shots were placed on goal.
With the rain pouring down, neither team found the back of the net in the first part of the second half. Jacksonville, though, managed to break through for a goal in the 74th-minute to essentially put the game away. Casey Tafuri scored an unassisted goal to give the Dolphins a 3-0 lead.
Jacksonville out-shot Upstate, 10-2, in the second half and finished with a 21-12 lead in shots. The Dolphins placed 11 shots on goal in the match, while Upstate, placed five on frame.