SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's soccer season will officially come to a close on Sunday afternoon as the Spartans host the Bucs of ETSU at 1:00 p.m. at County University Soccer Stadium.
Sunday will also be senior day and Upstate will honor its graduating seniors, Oleva DuRant, Catherine Nolff, Alyssa Roegner and Leigh Ward, prior to the match. Fans are encouraged to arrive early so they can be on hand for the pre-match ceremony that will begin at approximately 12:40 p.m.
At A Glance...
• Scouting the Bucs
• Looking Back at Kennesaw State and Mercer
• A Division I First
• Freshmen Pace the Spartans
Scouting the Bucs
ETSU enters the final weekend of play with a 7-7-2 record and sits 3-5-1 in conference play. The Bucs have 10 conference points and they are two points behind Campbell for the final Atlantic Sun Conference tournament spot. Last weekend ETSU fell on the road at Mercer, 3-0, before battling to a 1-1 draw at Kennesaw State.
Ramey Kerns and Terri Miller are the offensive leaders for ETSU. Kerns leads the team with six goals, while Miller has five. Kerns also leads the team in points (13). Meanwhile, Miller leads the team in shots (50) and shots on goal (22), while ranking second in points (11). Megan Masch has seen the majority of action between the pipes for the Bucs. In nearly 1,300 minutes of play, she has made 30 saves while allowing 17 goals (1.18 GAA) for a 7-7-1 record with three shutouts.
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 USC Upstate tab. Fans can also receive live statistical updates by visiting the official Upstate Athletics Web site at www.upstatespartans.com.
Looking Back at Kennesaw State and Mercer
In the match at Kennesaw State, the Owls and the Spartans battled to a halftime draw, but KSU posted two goals in the second half to claim the 2-0 win. With the Owls' goal in the 49th-minute, Rachel Collins shutout streak ended at 295:44, which is the longest streak for a Spartan keeper since the 2004 season when Diana Wabnitz posted a scoreless streak of 407:23 from Sept. 9, 2004 to Oct. 6, 2004. On Sunday, Upstate fell at Mercer, 2-1. Upstate tied the match at 1-1 in the 26th-minute when Kimberly Ledwell scored on an assist from Jessica Jackyra. The match appeared to be heading to halftime a 1-1 draw, but Mercer scored with just 22 seconds remaining to take a 2-1 lead and that proved to be the final tally.
Collins Earns Defensive Player of the Week Honors
After leading Upstate to a pair of scoreless draws against Stetson (10/8) and Florida Gulf Coast (10/10), freshman goalkeeper Rachel Collins was honored by the A-Sun as the Defensive Player of the Week. It was the first weekly award for the Raleigh, N.C., native and it was also the first weekly award for the women's soccer program since the move to Division I in 2007. Collins held two of the top teams in the conference scoreless (Stetson entered the weekend tied for fourth, while FGCU entered Sunday in first-place). The 12 saves Collins recorded against the Eagles is the best single-match performance in conference play this season.
The Freshman Experience
First-year head coach Renee Lopez has counted on her senior leaders, but she has also received help along the way from her freshmen. In the match against Morehead State (9/10), Danielle White delivered the game-winner as Upstate claimed the 1-0 win for its first win of 2010. Against Alabama State (9/19), it was Jessica Jackyra who notched the game-winner, as the Spartans downed the Hornets 2-0; White also scored a goal in that match. Against Lipscomb (9/26), Jessica Jackyra struck again, this time with a blast from 35 yards out, to lift Upstate to its first conference win of the season. In the match at Jacksonville (10/1), Rachel Curd scored her first collegiate goal, while Kimberly Ledwell notched her first career goal at Mercer (10/17).
2 for 15
Freshman Jessica Jackyra leads the Spartans with two-game winning goals in 2010. The freshman scored her first collegiate goal at Alabama State on Sept. 19 to give the Spartans a 1-0 advantage. Upstate went on to defeat the Hornets, 2-0, in Montgomery, Ala. The Upstate defender scored her second goal of the season against Lipscomb (Sept. 26). Jackyra's blast from 35 yards found the back of the net, helping the Spartans earn its first conference win of the campaign. Not only does number 15 lead Upstate in game-winners, she is near the top of the conference, as she is tied for fourth.
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 12 freshmen 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 17 games for the Spartans this season, the Columbia, S.C., native has not left the field for a single second. Nolff has played all 1586:21 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. She has recorded two other shutouts this season, both 0-0 draws. Those came at home against Stetson (Oct. 8) and Florida Gulf Coast (Oct. 10).
In 2010, Collins has tallied a total of 113 saves, including a 12-save match against Florida Gulf Coast, a 10-save match against Wofford as well as a pair of nine-save outings against Furman and Gardner-Webb. Collins leads the conference in both saves and saves per match (6.65). Collins also ranks third in save percentage (.807), while ranking tied for fourth in shutouts (3) and tied for seventh in shutouts per match (0.18). In conference matches, Collins leads the way with 57 saves and also ranks first in saves per match (6.33). She is tied for third in shutouts (3), ranks tied for fourth in shutouts per match (0.33) and sits fifth in save percentage (.803).
Barrow Named as Player to Watch by TopDrawerSoccer
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 73 matches and has started 72. Nolff is the all-time D-I era leader for games played and games started. With her start at Kennesaw State (10/15) she passed Diana Wabnitz (2002-06) for second all-time in matches started and is tied for third with Wabnitz 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.
This Day in History
On today's game date, Oct. 24, these notable events occurred: Telegrams were sent coast to coast for the first time in the U.S. California Justice Stephen J. Field was the first in line to send a message. The recipient was President Abraham Lincoln (1871)... The George Washington Bridge was opened, linking New York City with New Jersey. The bridge became a famous New York landmark and has been featured in many movies and TV shows (1931)... It was the first World Series won by a team from outside of the United States. The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves in the sixth game (4-3 in 11 innings) and won the Series, four games to two (1992)... Chart toppers included: "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann (1964) and "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen (1980)... Notable birthdays include: Actor Kevin Kline (1947) and Professional Golfer and British Open Champion Ian Baker-Finch (1960)
On this day in Spartan history (Oct. 24), volleyball's Megan Healey sets a D-I era record for services aces (5) in a five-set match (vs. Stetson) (2008).