Spartanburg, S.C. – Marvin Schmiege scored two goals, one in each half, to lead the USC Upstate men's soccer team to a 2-0 non-conference victory over Presbyterian Saturday night at County University Soccer Stadium.
Schmiege notched his second and third goals of the season en route to leading Upstate to the win. The Spartans improved to 2-3-1 on the year and will make the 3.5-mile trip to Snyder Field to take on Wofford College Wednesday night at 7 in their next match. Presbyterian fell to 1-4-0 on the year.
"We have had trouble holding leads and winning, so it was a real positive in that we were able to get a lead and hold onto it to get the win," said Upstate head coach Greg Hooks. "Sometimes it isn't pretty and I thought we held on there for the final 20 minutes. But, to gut out a win like we did tonight was good and something we can build upon."
After each team got a shot off early in the game, Upstate struck first in the 14th minute to open a 1-0 lead over Presbyterian. Joe Brinckwirth played a ball forward to Leon Schwarzer who found Schmiege just inside the box on the left. Schmiege found space and moved deeper into the box, placing a shot into the left side of the goal for his second goal of the season.
Upstate goalkeeper Jack Rubin didn't see much action in the first 30 minutes of the first half. But, when he was pressed, he came up with a big save. After a Spartan foul, Mason Lewis took the free kick and curved a shot to the near post moving right to left. Rubin moved to his right and made a diving save to corral the ball and keep the Blue Hose off the scoreboard.
Schmiege nearly made it a 2-0 lead late in the first half. After Heiko Allmendinger took possession on the right side of the box, he found Schmiege streaking down the middle of the box unmanned. Allmendinger slid a pass to Schmiege who put a good foot on the ball. However, the shot just glanced off the cross bar to keep it a 1-0 Upstate lead in the 33rd minute.
Upstate dictated the pace of play in the first half and owned a 9-2 lead in shots. PC keeper Johnny Archer made two saves on three Upstate shots put on goal. Rubin finished the half with one save.
After going scoreless for the first eight minutes of the second half, Schmeige put in a tremendous individual effort in to net ahis second goal of the night and give the Spartans a 2-0 lead in the 53rd minute. Schmiege took possession about five yards beyond the midfield stripe on PC's side of the field. He took off on a run, maintained possession after fighting through a defender, moved around a second defender and found himself one-on-one with Archer. Schmiege hammered a shot from six yards out low and into the left side of the net to give the Spartans a 2-0 cushion.
Upstate dodged a bullet with another great save from Rubin in the 65th minute. PC's Ignacio Monchetti was fed a pass on the right side of the box. He was one-on-one with Rubin and fired a shot. Rubin, though, made a diving save to punch the ball out. The rebound came down to the feet of Greg White who's shot went wide of the goal. PC dodged a bullet a minute later when Matt Flynn was played a ball on the right side of the box and his shot glanced off the post to keep the game in favor of the Spartans by a 2-0 margin.
PC seemed to get a final boost of energy inside 20 minutes of play. Rubin came up big again on another diving save to his right on a shot from Steven Huppe in the 77th minute. Less a minute later, Blue Hose Matthew McManus' shot just sailed over the cross bar as Upstate maintained its 2-0 lead.
Although PC pressed, Upstate withstood the rally and Rubin and the Spartans took the 2-0 victory. It was Rubin's first shutout as a member of the Upstate program. He finished the night with three saves, all leaving his feet to keep the Blue Hose scoreless.
Upstate finished the game with a 14-10 lead in shot. The Spartans placed six shots on goal, while PC placed three shots on frame.