Kennesaw State Spoils Upstate’s Senior Day
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – USC Upstate surrendered a total of four goals Sunday afternoon as Kennesaw State spoiled Upstate's senior day with a 4-1 victory at County University Soccer Stadium.
The Spartans honored seniors Maegan Garner (Charleston, S.C.), Julia Harris (Simpsonville, S.C.), Krystal Hedderman (Locust Grove, Va.) and Karen Martinez (Bogota, Columbia) with a pre-match ceremony.
"Congratulations on great careers by Maegan, Julia, Krystal, Karen," said head coach Renee Lopez. "We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors."
Kennesaw State (7-8-2, 3-5-1 Atlantic Sun) scored the lone goal of the first half in the 12th-minute. Following an Upstate (2-16-1, 0-9-0) foul, Jewelia Strickland found the back of the net on her free kick from 40 yards out, giving the Owls the 1-0 advantage.
In the second half, Kennesaw State pushed its one goal advantage to 3-0 with two goals in a span of just 1:41. Shelby Crosby scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 65th-minute. Katrina Frost pushed the lead to three goals when she scored following Strickland's free kick.
"Kennesaw State had a solid attack day, especially Shelby Crosby, who tallied 10 of the team's 30 shots," Lopez said. "They made our back line work extremely hard today and I commend their efforts."
Alyssa Mahan scored the final goal of the match for the Owls as she pushed the lead to 4-0 in the 80th-minute.
The Spartans finally broke through in the 87th-minute when Kayli Moore (Severna Park, Md.) beat the goalie to the ball and scored inside the box. Moore was assisted on her second goal of the season by Erika Kotterer (Chicago, Ill.).
"I am proud of the girls fighting thru this season of being an extremely young team and facing injuries and distractions," Lopez added. "These girls have gained valuable experience this year and we will use this season as a building block for the future of our women's soccer program. We had five freshmen and three sophomores score for us this season and that shows we have a promising future. It will take a few years to put all of the pieces together, but I am confident that we are heading in the right direction."
The Owls outshot the Spartans, 30-3, and led the way in shots on-goal, 11-2. Kennesaw State also took eight corner kicks Sunday afternoon. Upstate's Sarah Plantz (Cartersville, Ga.) tallied six saves in goal, while the Kennesaw State's Mel Hutto tallied one.
Sunday's match was the season finale for both Upstate and Kennesaw State as neither team qualified for the A-Sun Tournament.