SPARTANBURG, S.C. – As the calendar flips to October, the USC Upstate women's soccer team will find itself in Jacksonville, Fla., for a pair of conference matches this weekend.
On Friday, the Spartans will face off with Jacksonville at 7:00 p.m. Following Friday's match, Upstate will battle North Florida on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
At A Glance...
• Scouting the Dolphins and the Ospreys
• Looking Back at Belmont and Lipscomb
• Spartan Trio Earns All-Tournament Honors
• Nation's Largest Freshman Class
Scouting the Dolphins
Jacksonville enters the week with a 6-4-2 mark overall and a 2-1-1 record in conference play. To open the season, Jacksonville played a quartet of games in the Palmetto State. They downed Furman in the season opener (W, 3-2) before falling at Clemson (L, 3-1). The following weekend, the Dolphins traveled to Charleston for a pair of matches. Jacksonville defeated the Citadel 3-0 before falling to Charleston Southern 3-2. On Sept. 26, the Dolphins lost on the road at Mercer 1-0, it was the first loss for Jacksonville since falling to the Florida Gators on Sept. 3.
Lisa Hensley (5) and Liz Fink (3) have combined for eight of Jacksonville's 18 goals. Hensley leads the team in points with 11, while Fink is second with nine points. Fink is one of three Jacksonville players with three assists in 2010. Goalkeeper Alexa Rooney has started all 12 games for the Dolphins and has logged 1050 minutes out of a possible 1138 minutes. Rooney has made 76 saves while allowing 14 goals (1.20 GAA). She owns a season record of 6-3-2 with five shutouts.
Scouting the Ospreys
North Florida opened the season on a five-match skid before defeating Francis Marion, 4-3, in the home opener on Sept. 10. Since then, the Ospreys have picked up a pair of conference wins over Stetson (W, 1-0) and at Mercer (W, 1-0). Prior to battling the Spartans on Sunday afternoon, UNF will host ETSU on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.
Carolina Lencina and Lauren Hopfensperger are tied for the team lead in goals with three a piece. Lencina leads the team in points (8), shots (20), shots on-goal (10) and is tied for the lead in assists with two. Brittany Hahn has logged 938:55 between the pipes as she has been the primary go-to option for the Ospreys. she has 33 saves on the year while allowing 20 goals (1.92 GAA).
Fans not in attendance can watch the action live online at ASun.TV by visiting the service's web site, www.asun.tv, and clicking on the North Florida tab. Fans can also recieve live statistical updates by visiting www.unfospreys.com
Looking Back at Belmont and Lipscomb
In the home conference opener against Belmont on Sept. 24, it was the Bruins that came away victorious (5-0). On Family Day (Sept. 26), the Spartans hosted Lipscomb and collected their first A-Sun victory of the season. The Spartans scored the lone goal of the match in the 70th-minute when Jessic a Jackyra connected on her shot from 35 yards out. Rachel Collins was stellar in goal for Upstate as she recorded eight saves to earn her first collegiate shutout victory.
Three different Spartans earned All-Tournament honors at the 2010 Border Classic hosted by Under Armour and Gardner-Webb (9/10, 12). Senior Catherine Nolff was named to the team for the second consecutive season. Nolff along with Ashleigh Barkley and Courtney Mack helped solidify the back line for the Spartans as Upstate claimed the 1-0 victory against Morehead State (9/10).
Second to None
When Renee Lopez was hired on Nov. 18, 2009 as head coach, she immediately hit the recruiting trail. Lopez signed a total of 12 freshmen to her first recruiting class and not only is that the largest freshman class in the Atlantic Sun Conference, but only one other school in the entire nation has 12 incoming freshmen for the 2010 season. Joining the Spartans with the 12 freshmen mark are the Argos from West Florida, a Division II institution located in Pensacola, Fla.
The Energizer Bunny
Not only has senior Catherine Nolff seen action in all 11 games for the Spartans this season, the Columbia, S.C., native has not left the field for a single second. Nolff has played all 1006:21 on the pitch for first-year head coach Renee Lopez.
Freshman Rachel Collins made her collegiate debut in the match against Charleston Southern. The Raleigh, N.C., native recorded nine saves in the first half and finished with 14 saves. Her 14 saves tied a school-record as she joined Diana Wabnitz, Samantha Spradley and Brittany Daughtry as the only players to accomplish the feat. Collins is the only freshman to record 14 saves in a single match. Her 14 saves is also a single-match high in the A-Sun this season. In the match against Lipscomb (Sept. 26), Collins made eight saves as she helped the Spartans earn their first conference victory of the 2010 season. It was also the first shutout victory for the first-year Spartan.
In 2010, Collins has tallied a total of 71 saves, including a 10-save match against Wofford as well as a pair of nine-save outings against Furman and Gardner-Webb. Collins is tied for conference lead in saves per match (6.45) and ranks second in saves. Collins also ranks fourth in save percentage (.826).
Ashlee Barrow Named as Player to Watch by TopDrawerSoccer.com
Each season TopDrawerSoccer.com lists its preseason top 20 players to watch in each conference. This season, Ashlee Barrow was ranked 16th in the list of 20 players from the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Fishkill, N.Y., native was named to the A-Sun All-Freshman Team in 2009 and has an outstanding preseason to begin her sophomore season. With her selection to the All-Freshman Team, she became the first Spartan since 2006 and the first since the move to D-I to earn all-conference honors. Aside from the All-Freshman Team accolades in 2009, Barrow earned All-Academic Team honors from the A-Sun as well as Upstate's Coach's Award and the Wilde Soccer Scholarship.
Senior Catherine Nolff has appeared in every match during her Spartan career. Nolff, a senior from Columbia, S.C., has appeared in 66 matches and has started in 65 straight, a streak dating back to the second game of her freshman season (at Furman, Sept. 6, 2007). Nolff is the all-time D-I era leader for games played and games started. With her start at Alabama State (9-19-10) she passed Leslie Logwood (2000-03) for third all-time in matches started and sits alone in fourth-place in matches played.
A total of 16 new players will suit up for the Spartans in 2010. Gabrielle Fennell (a transfer from Garner-Webb) and Karen Martinez joined the Spartans during the spring. Of the remaining 14, 12 of the newcomers are freshmen (Kimberley Anderson, Rachel Collins, Rachel Curd, Jessica Jackyra, Erika Kotterer, Kimberly Ledwell, Alyssa Librizzi, Courtney Mack, Kayli Moore, Sarah Plantz, Jessica Voigt and Danielle White). Julia Harris joins the Spartans after a two-year stint at Spartanburg Methodist College, while Krystal Hedderman comes on board after two years at St. Andrew's Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C.
The Spartanburg Circuit
Mary Rea was named as an assistant women's soccer coach on July 16, 2010 and joined the third and final Spartanburg four-year institution. Prior to joining the Spartan coaching staff, Rea served as an assistant coach at Converse College during the 2009 season. Converse is a NCAA Division II institution and is a member of Conference Carolinas.
She was a four year letterwinner at Wofford College from 2004-08, where she earned defensive MVP honors as a freshman and team MVP accolades as a junior. Rea, who earned all-academic honors for her hard work in the classroom, was a team captain as a senior.
These Days in History
On today's game date, Oct. 1, these notable events occurred: Henry Ford introduced the Model T, it sold for $825 (1908)... The first baseball playoff game for a league championship featured the St. Louis Cardinals defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers, 4-2 (1946)... Johnny Carson began his nearly three-decade run as host of NBC's "Tonight Show" (1962)... Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Fla. (1971)... Chart toppers included: "We're an American Band" by Grand Funk (1973) and "Heaven" by Warrant (1989)... Notable birthdays include: Actress Julie Andrews (1935) and Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew (1945).
On this day in Spartan history (Oct. 1), Mandy Rupert becomes just the second volleyball player to record nine services aces in a single match as Upstate defeated UNC Pembroke 3-0 (30-16, 30-16, 30-23).
On today's game date, Oct. 3, these notable events occurred: The N.Y. Giants defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers to claim the N.L. Pennant (1951)... "The Andy Griffith Show" premiered on CBS-TV (1960)... East and West Germany came together again (1990)... Chart toppers included: "Because of You" by Tony Bennett (1951) and "I'm Sorry" by John Denver (1975).