Macon, Ga. – Despite the teams combining for 40 shots, USC Upstate and Mercer battled to a scoreless tie in a key A-Sun men's soccer match Wednesday night.
Upstate stands 5-7-2 overall and 2-3-2 with eight points in the A-Sun. The Spartans will now take nine days off before traveling to East Tennessee State for its regular season finale on Oct. 29. Upstate entered the night in a three-way tie for fifth place with ETSU and Stetson, and was ahead of Mercer in the standings. The Spartans are jockeying for one of six spots in the A-Sun Tournament. Mercer stands 6-6-2 overall and 1-3-1 with four points in the conference.
Mercer owned the lead in shots Wednesday night, taking 23 to Upstate's 17. It was a tale of two halves in regulation. In the first half, Mercer out-shot Upstate, 13-4, while Upstate held a 12-5 advantage in the second half. However, neither team could find the back of the net and the game went to overtime.
In overtime, Mercer got the most opportunities, taking three shots in the first overtime period and two in the second. Upstate took just one shot in the extra time during the second overtime period.
Both teams needed a bit of luck to keep the other off the scoreboard in the match. On three occasions, Upstate hit the post only to have the ball bounce away from the goal. Mercer hit the post once.
"It was an end to end game that either team could have won," said Upstate head coach Greg Hooks. "It was probably fair that it ended in a tie. We had several really good scoring chances, but saying that, so did they. Our two teams were pretty similar. Sometimes a tie on the road in the conference is a good thing."
Upstate goalkeeper Jason McCabe (Irmo, S.C.) made eight saves on the night to record his sixth shutout of the season. Mercer goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh made seven saves on the night.