Spartanburg, S.C. – Rene Reyes scored 1:25 into the second overtime to lift Jacksonville to a 2-1 victory over USC Upstate in A-Sun men's soccer action Friday night at County University Soccer Stadium.
Reyes' goal capped off a game that saw the teams combine for 27 shots, but only eight of which were on goal. Upstate fell to 2-6-1 overall and 0-1-0 in the A-Sun in its conference opener. The Spartans will play host to North Florida Sunday afternoon at 1:00. Jacksonville improved to 2-8-1 overall and 1-1-0 with three points in the A-Sun.
Upstate nearly cracked the scoreboard in the 20th minute when Dylan Hoop (Hamilton, Ohio) was played a through ball down the left side. He moved toward the center, but his shot just nicked the cross bar to keep the match scoreless.
Thirteen minutes later, Dave Musambi (Ottawa, Ontario) also hit the cross bar after pounding a chopper into the ground over the Jacksonville keeper in the 33rd minute. The chance came after a foul deep in Jacksonville territory.
Despite Upstate dictating the pace of play and creating multiple scoring chances, Jacksonville was the first to crack the scoreboard. Mathues Saroli played a ball to Nick Rodriguez just outside the box on the left. He moved into the box and put a shot to the far post that found the side of the net past a diving Dani Alvarado (Leander, Texas).
Upstate's misfortune continued in the first half when Eli Cothran (Walhalla, S.C.) was played a cross at the mouth of the goal, but his shot was tipped over the goal by Dolphin keeper Gavin Carlin. Upstate out-shot Jacksonville, 10-3 in the first half.
While the first half saw the teams combine for 13 shots, the second was more of a defensive effort. The teams battled to get off just seven combined shots.
Upstate finally cashed in on its pressure in the 70th minute to tie the match at 1-1. Just inserted into the game, Spencer Woodstock (Miami, Fla.) won a battle for the ball near the end line in the box. He played a cross to the goal mouth where Marvin Schmiege (Berlin, Germany) put the shot away into the open goal for his first career goal.
Both teams had chances in the closing minutes of regulation, but the defenses came up with just enough to force the game into overtime. After a scoreless first overtime period when both Jacksonville and Upstate each took three shots, the Dolphins won the game early in the second overtime period.
Rodriguez, who scored the game's first goal, gained control of the ball in Upstate territory and played a pass to Rene Reyes. Reyes took a shot from 20 yards out and put it into the left side of the goal to give Jacksonville the victory.
Upstate finished the game with a 15-12 lead in shots. Alvarado made two saves on the night, while Carlin notched three. Most of the shots were either wide or high of the goal, or nicked the bar.