Women’s Soccer Begins 2011 Season on Tuesday
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's soccer team kicks off its 2011 season on Tuesday night with an exhibition match against Spartanburg Methodist College. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. at County University Soccer Stadium.
The Spartans will open the regular season on Sunday night as they travel to Boiling Springs, N.C., to face Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs, who claimed a 1-0 victory in double overtime on Aug. 31, 2010 in Spartanburg, S.C., lead the all-time series, 5-0.
• After adding 14 new players (12 freshmen) to the squad with her 2010 recruiting class, head coach Renee Lopez again signed another large recruiting class. Coach Lopez's 2011 signing class features 13 new players, 11 of which are freshmen.
• Rachel Collins earned Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team honors after leading the conference in both saves (115) and saves per match (6.39), while ranking third in save percentage (.804).
• Jessica Jackyra led the Spartans last season with two game-winning goals. Jackyra notched game-winners at Alabama State (Sept. 19, 2010) and against Lipscomb (Sept. 26, 2010).
• Last season, Upstate downed Lipscomb and earned draws against Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast to post its highest conference points total since joining the A-Sun in 2007.
• Courtney Mack earned Border Classic All-Tournament honors after helping Upstate claim a 1-0 victory over Morehead State (Sept. 10, 2010).
• Coach Lopez focused on strengthening the Spartan back line in her first season. The Spartans allowed 80 goals in 2009, but in Lopez's first season, the Spartans cut that total by more than half as they allowed 34 goals a season ago.
Another Big Class
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 was that the largest freshman class in the A-Sun, but only one other school in the entire nation has 12 incoming freshmen for the 2010 season. Joining the Spartans with 12 freshmen was West Florida, a Division II institution located in Pensacola, Fla.
Lopez's second recruiting class also reached double-digits. Thirteen new players arrived in Spartanburg for preseason camp, 11 of the 13 newcomers are freshmen.
The 2011 USC Upstate women's soccer roster features a total of 29 players, of those, 22 are underclassmen (11 sophomores, 11 freshmen). There are only two players on the roster that have more than one season of Division I experience. Maegan Garner and Kelsey Shinn each have two seasons of D-I playing experience.