Garner’s Game-Winner Propels Upstate Past VMI
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – USC Upstate senior Maegan Garner (Charleston, S.C.) found the back of the net in the 80th-minute to help the women's soccer team claim a 3-2 victory over VMI Sunday afternoon at County University Soccer Stadium.
Garner notched her first collegiate goal on a double-assist from Alyssa Librizzi (Raleigh, N.C.) and Katelyn Allen (Geneva, Ill.). VMI (3-4-1) goalkeeper Amanda Berrios was caught out of position allowing Garner a clean look at the goal from the left wing.
"I am proud of the girls for battling back today, especially after falling behind 2-1," said head coach Renee Lopez. "We have been working hard on our offense attack the last few weeks and it is starting to show. As a team, we want to dedicate this win to Michael Jackyra, the father of Jessica Jackyra, who passed away earlier this week."
Upstate (2-8-1) scored the lone goal of the first half when Rachel Carr (Rockford, Ill.) scored after a misplay by Berrios. Carr scored her first goal of 2011 on a pass from Michelle Calmeyn (Elk Grove, Ill.).
The Spartans maintained their 1-0 advantage until intermission after a pair of solid defensive plays. In the 27th-minute, Upstate goalie Rachel Collins (Raleigh, N.C.) was caught out of the net, but a sliding save by Allen kept the Keydets off of the scoreboard. Less than 10 minutes later, Collins grabbed VMI's Allie Segura header out of the air to keep Upstate in front.
In the 51st-minute, the Keydets finally got on the scoreboard when Simone Jimenez scored on a miscommunication by the Spartan defense. Less than eight minutes later after a goalkeeper change by the Spartans, VMI took a 2-1 lead when Christelle Ndongo found the back of the net. Ndongo's shot appeared to be sailing high, but snuck into the top left corner of the net.
In the 61st-minute, Carr lost control of a pass from Calmeyn inside the box and VMI maintained the one goal advantage.
Courtney Mack (St. Leonard, Md.) delivered the equalizer in the 74th-minute. Mack scored from the top of the box on an assist from Calmeyn. Less than four minutes later, Mack had a chance to give the Spartans the lead but her shot sailed just left and the score remained tied at 2-2.
The Spartans took the lead for good, 3-2, when Garner scored from the left side of the box.
The Keydets had a pair of chances to tie the game in the final 3:30, but both attempts sailed wide and the Spartans claimed the 3-2 victory.
VMI led the way in shots (17-13), shots on-goal (5-4) and corner kicks (12-3). Upstate totaled three saves in the match (Collins, 2; Team, 1) compared to one save for the VMI. The Spartans committed four fouls and were whistled offsides twice while the Keydets committed two fouls and were called offsides four times.
Sunday's match was the final non-conference match of 2011 for Upstate as the team's final eight games of the season are all Atlantic Sun Conference matches. The Spartans will head to Nashville, Tenn., next weekend for a pair of matches against Belmont (Sept. 30, 6 p.m.) and Lipscomb (Oct. 2, 2 p.m.).