Spartans Surrender Late Lead, Fall to Charleston Southern
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall, email@example.com
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's soccer team held Charleston Southern scoreless over the opening 70 of action on Monday evening, but a late surge by the Buccaneers handed the Spartans a 2-1 defeat at County University Stadium in non-conference action.
The Spartans (1-1) drop their home opener and fall back to the .500 mark after their first two games of the year, while the Buccaneers (1-0) rallied in their season-opener and win their fifth game in six tries against Upstate in the all-time series.
"I thought the effort was great," head coach Abby Minihan said following the game. "Overall I thought we accomplished what we set out to do. We didn't execute some things as well as I would have liked, but I was pleased."
After the Bucs dominated the opening 15 minutes with four corner kicks and a pair of shots, the Spartans finally found a spark on offense when Kayli Moore lined up a shot from 25 yards out, but the attempt sailed high and wide of the mark.
Upstate continued to put pressure on the Charleston Southern back line over the next 10 minutes and Michelle Calmeyn finally broke through in the 33rd minute as she raced down a long pass from Courtney Reilly and played it past the goalkeeper. Calmeyn saved the ball just before going out of bounds and sent a laser shot just inside the left post to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
"To score first was awesome," Minihan said. "I felt like we ran out of gas a little bit which was surprising to me, but it just tells me we are not where we need to be yet."
The Spartans held that 1-0 lead at intermission and continued to cling to the one-goal advantage until the 70th minute when Chelsea Phillips broke free at midfield, sprinted by the Upstate defense and lined a shot that was tipped by Spartan keeper Sarah Plantz. The redirected ball deflected off the cross bar and found the back of the net to knot the score at a goal apiece.
Just 11 minutes later Morgann Wood lined a cross into the box that was deflected by the Upstate defense, but Chelsea Franklin came up with the rebound and lined home her first goal of the season to give Charleston Southern a lead they would never relinquish.
The Spartans had chances to tie the game in the final minute, but a two-on-one break was broken up by a Buccaneer defender and Charleston Southern held on for the 2-1 come-from-behind road victory.
Plantz (1-1) suffered her first loss of the year in goal, allowing both Buccaneer scores and picking up seven saves. Caitlin Cody earned the win for the Bucs and tallied five saves.
Upstate was outshot 17-11 and attempted just one corner kick to 11 for Charleston Southern.
The Spartans return to action over the weekend with an East Coast swing to Maryland and Virginia. Upstate will battle Navy Friday evening at 5 p.m., followed by a date with Liberty University on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.