Spartanburg, S.C. - USC Upstate returns to the pitch this weekend when it plays host to Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson in a pair of key A-Sun matches at County University Soccer Stadium. The Spartans will play FGCU Friday night at 7:00 in the Spartans' Soccer Coaches vs. Cancer event. The Spartans will host Stetson Sunday at noon on Senior Day.
Upstate enters the weekend with a 5-5-1 overall record and a 2-1-1 mark with seven points in the A-Sun. The Spartans are in second place in the league standings. FGCU is 5-3-2 overall and 2-0-0 with six points in the conference. Stetson is 4-5-1 overall and 1-1-0 with three points in the league.
Upstate is 0-3-1 all-time against FGCU in a series that dates back to the 2007 season, the first for both schools playing on the Division I level. The Spartans took a 2-0 loss to the Eagles last year in Ft. Myers. Upstate is 0-3-1 all-time against Stetson in a series that also dates back to the 2007 campaign. The Spartans dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime in DeLand, Fla., last season.
Looking Back at Jacksonville, North Florida
Upstate had two different outcomes when it made the trip to Jacksonville, Fla., last week. In the end, the Spartans came out with a 1-1 performance for the week, staying in the hunt for the regular season championship and a spot in the 6-team A-Sun Tournament. Upstate opened the weekend by dropping a 3-0 decision to Jacksonville. The Spartans rebounded by notching a 2-0 shutout, the fifth of the season, over North Florida. John Kadane scored the game winner in the 74th-minute and Dylan Hoop added an insurance goal late in the game to lead the Spartans.
Scouting Florida Gulf Coast
Florida Gulf Coast enters Friday night's game at Upstate with a 5-3-2 overall record and a 2-0-0 mark in the A-Sun. With six points, the Eagles are in third place in the league standings, though they are one of two teams who have yet to lose a match this season. FGCU began the season with a 1-2-2 start before winning three-straight and securing a top 25 national ranking.
FGCU has out-scored its opponents 50-33 on the year. The Eagles have scored 16 goals with 18 assists. Cristian Raudales tops the club with eight points on four goals. Josey Portillo is second with seven points on a goal and five assists, while 12 Eagles in total have scored this season. Adam Glick leads the Eagles in goal. He has played every minute of the season and owns a 1.14 goals against average with 39 saves. Opponents have a 1.53 goals against average against FGCU.
Stetson enters the weekend with a 4-5-1 overall record and a 1-1-0 mark in the A-Sun. With three points, the Hatters are tied for sixth place in the league standings. They began the season 2-0, including a 3-2 win over then-No. 15 Penn State. However, four-straight losses followed and the Hatters are 2-5-1 in the last eight games.
Jonathan Mendoza tops Stetson and ranks third in the A-Sun with 13 points on six goals and an assist. Gonzalo De Mujica ranks second on the team with seven points on two goals and three assists. Nine other Hatters have scored on the year, totaling 49 points for the team. The Hatters have scored 18 goals with 13 assists. Stetson owns a 1.83 goals against average with 39 saves, while its opponents own a 1.73 goals against average. Andreas Schnabl tops the team in the net with a 1.81 goals against average with 38 saves.
Looking Back at 2010
Despite turning in two gutsy performances on the road in Florida, Upstate dropped a pair of A-Sun matches at FGCU and Stetson in 2010. Against 25th-ranked FGCU, the Spartans dropped a 2-0 decision, giving up a goal in each half. Two days later, Michael Rankin-Byrne scored in the 89th-minute to even the match, but Stetson scored the game winner with a little more than five minutes to play in the second overtime period to take the 2-1 victory over the Spartans.
Upstate Honors Nine Seniors Sunday
Prior to the start of Upstate's game against Stetson at noon on Sunday, the Spartans will honor nine seniors who are playing their final regular season home game at County University Soccer Stadium. All nine have played key roles in the development of the program on the Division I level and in the A-Sun. Upstate will honor Timo Foerster, Colin Francis, Felipe Grana, Hakeem King, Jason McCabe, Chad McCoy, Chris McCoy, Nathan Perschke and Jan Wienholt for their service to the program.
McCabe, Spartans Ranked Nationally
In the midst of its finest season playing on the Division I level, Upstate finds itself ranked among the nation's leaders in several statistical categories. The Spartans are ranked ninth in the country with 5.91 saves per game. The Spartans are 19th with a .833 save percentage and 30th with a 0.45 shutout percentage.
Individually, senior goalkeeper Jason McCabe ranks in the top 30 in three categories. He is 11th in the nation with 61 total saves. He is 16th in the country with 5.55 saves per game and 27th with an .824 save percentage.
Hooks Reaches 200 Career Upstate Wins
In his 17th year as head coach of the Upstate men's soccer team, Greg Hooks not only has a wealth of experience, but a long list of accomplishments. He added to that list on Oct. 9 when he won his 200th game on the sidelines at Upstate. The Spartans took a 2-0 victory at North Florida to secure win No. 200 at Upstate for Hooks. Hooks has won 287 games in his 24 years as a head coach at Spartanburg Methodist, Lees-McRae, University of Charleston (W.Va.) and Upstate.
Kadane Makes Most of His Chances
Junior defender John Kadane certainly is a leader in the back for the Spartans. However, he is also a scoring threat for Upstate, making the most of his scoring opportunities. Though he has taken just eight shots on the year, mostly in set pieces on corner kicks, he has scored two goals and ranks third on the team with four points. Both of his goals have been match winners against Presbyterian (Sept. 2) and North Florida (Oct. 9).
Tossing A Shutout
Perhaps one of the biggest stories of the season is Upstate's ability to record a shutout. Through 11 games, the Spartans have tallied five shutouts to rank second in the A-Sun. Prior to this season, Upstate recorded three shutouts in four season since moving to Division I in 2007. The Spartans did not record a shutout in 2007 and 2008, tallied one in 2009 and two last season.