SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After dropping the season opener at Gardner-Webb on Sunday night, the Spartans look to secure their first win of the campaign with a pair of home contests this weekend.
The Spartans will host Wofford on Friday night in the first of three promotional nights for the women's soccer team. Friday night's match is Faith Night and all church youth group members will receive a special deal. Those individuals in grades K-8 receive free admission, while members in grades 9-12 can gain admission for just $2. Youth group members can also get a hot dog, drink and a bag of chips for just $3 at the event.
Following Friday's game, the Spartans will host Francis Marion on Sunday afternoon. Sunday's match will be the first time the two teams have met since the Patriots claimed a 5-1 victory in Florence, S.C., on Oct. 30, 2004.
• Michelle Calmeyn recorded a hat trick in her first collegiate match. In the exhibition against Spartanburg Methodist, Calmeyn tallied three goals and helped Upstate claim a 4-0 win over the Pioneers.
• Five of the 11 players that started the contest at Gardner-Webb on Sunday night were freshmen. In all, nine rookies saw action against the Runnin' Bulldogs in the season opener.
• 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.
• In 2010, 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).
• 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.
• 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 (2010), the Spartans cut that total by more than half as they allowed 34 goals.
Looking Back at Gardner-Webb
The Spartans allowed three first half goals (25', 39', 42') and GWU claimed a 3-0 victory in a lightning-shortened contest on Sunday night at Greene-Harbison Field in Boiling Springs, N.C. Dawn Rollyson tallied two goals in the match to pace the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Upstate was outshot in the match 10-5 and managed just one shot on goal (GWU had four). Rachel Collins and Sarah Plantz split time between the pipes in the season opener with Collins recording the lone save of the contest for the Spartans. With 19:34 to play, the game was halted due to lightning and ruled an official contest a few minutes later with the threat of lightning expected to last for another hour.
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.