Bulldogs Outlast Spartans, 1-0, in Double Overtime
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – In what turned in to be a defensive battle on Tuesday night at County University Soccer Stadium, the USC Upstate women's soccer team fell to Gardner-Webb by a score of 1-0 in double overtime.
"I am very pleased with the girls' effort tonight," said head coach Renee Lopez. "It is the first time since coming together that we have played solid soccer throughout the duration of a match. The team really stepped up tonight and everyone had a strong desire to compete. I want to commend our starters, but also our bench players who brought a lot of energy to the match tonight and had a significant impact on tonight's match. We will carry tonight's strong effort into Sunday's match at Wofford."
Upstate was in a dogfight from the beginning with the Bulldogs as GWU owned a first half advantage in shots (13-0). In the first half, goalkeeper Rachel Collins (Raleigh, N.C./Athens Drive HS) recorded five saves to set the halftime score at 0-0.
In the second half, Upstate had several scoring opportunities in the final 25 minutes of regulation. With 22 minutes left, Kayli Moore (Severna Park, Md./St. Mary's HS) delivered back-to-back corner kicks, but the Spartans failed to capitalize on the opportunity.
With about 10 minutes remaining in the match, Upstate's Alyssa Roegner (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower HS) was on a breakaway but the ball got away from the senior and was picked up by the GWU keeper, Chelsea Hearne.
In the 83rd-minute, Jessica Jackyra (Cary, N.C./Apex HS) had a scoring chance but her shot was saved by Bulldog keeper. Just two minutes later, Jackyra again had a shot at putting the Spartans ahead, but her shot was saved by Hearne, who dove to keep the match scoreless.
After a scoreless 90 minutes of action, the two teams took the field for the first of two ten minute overtime sessions. Only two shots were taken during the first overtime, both of which were taken by the Bulldogs.
In the 105th-minute, the Bulldogs had a chance at the game-winning goal, but Rachel Curd (Lexington, Ky./Paul Laurence Dunbar HS) headed away Taylor Napoli's shot. However, the Bulldogs would find the back of the net less than two minutes later as Meagan Reynolds scored the lone goal of the match as she put her shot past Upstate keeper Rachel Collins who was charging the ball to make the save.
In the match, Rachel Collins recorded nine saves to push her season total to 37, which leads the Atlantic Sun Conference. GWU keeper Chelsea Hearne tallied three saves in the match.
As a team, the Bulldogs recorded 26 shots, including 11 shots on-goal, compared to six total shots for the Spartans and three directed toward the goal. GWU owned the advantage in corner kicks by a 6-4 margin. The Bulldogs were called for five fouls and eight offside penalties, compared to six fouls and two offside penalties for the Spartans.
Upstate will return to action on Sunday, when they make a trip across town to visit Wofford for a 2:00 p.m. kick-off. Sunday's match will be the first of a five game stretch of matches away from the friendly confines of County University Soccer Stadium.