Upstate to Play Top Conference Teams in Georgia This Weekend

Upstate to Play Top Conference Teams in Georgia This Weekend

Oct. 13, 2008

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Time is running out for the USC Upstate Spartans. After Friday's loss at Campbell, the Upstate women's soccer squad is 1-5 in the A-Sun and 3-10 overall. Santana De Freitas scored her team-leading third goal of the season against the Camels, but the Spartans couldn't match the Camel's offensive production. The Spartans will travel to Ga. this weekend to play two crucial Conference games against Mercer and Kennesaw State.

History against opponents:
Mercer: In their first meeting last season, the Spartans fell to the Mercer Bears, 5-2. Liz Pontillo and Alyssa Roegner both scored goals in the game. Mercer is ranked in first- place in the A-Sun standings with a 7-4-3 overall record, boasting a 4-1-1 record in A-Sun play. The Bears are coming off consecutive wins against Lipscomb and Belmont.

Kennesaw State: The Owls prevail over the Spartans with a 4-0 overall series record. They have outscored the Spartans 9-0 in four meetings, including last season's 2-0 late victory over Upstate. After taking the A-Sun Championship last year, the Owls have gotten off to a slower start, sitting in seventh-place in A-Sun competition with a 2-2-2 record. They are 7-4-4 overall. Rachel Baer leads the team with nine goals and two assists.

Upstate to Play Top Conference Teams in Georgia
The Spartans will travel to Mercer and Kennesaw State this weekend for Conference games against two talented teams. Mercer is currently ranked first in the Atlantic Sun standings, while Kennesaw State is looking to defend last year's Conference Championship. The young Spartans may be able to put together some upsets if they play hard and earn some offensive production.

Quote Of The Week
"It's very satisfying to see the players walk out of here with their heads held high," said head coach Kendall Reyes after the Spartan's victory over Lipscomb on Oct. 5th. "We were stuck in a place where the close games weren't going our way. We've been discussing what we're capable of. We're taking one game at a time, continuing to play hard and get better, and hoping to find a way to win."

Offensive Distribution
The Spartan offense hasn't just been led by one player. Numerous different players have made contributions on the field. Santana De Freitas, Caitlin Robinson, Crystal Hackett, Alyssa Roegner, Jaclyn Bishop, Catherine Nolff and Kay Knepp have all scored goals for the Upstate team, while Carmen Osorio, Caitlin Beale and Liz Pontillo have tallied assists. Don't expect to see all the action from one player as this year's Spartans play with a combined team effort.

Young Spartans Bringing Talent On The Field
It's no surprise that the Spartan team is young, with 8 freshmen and 8 sophomores representing the majority of the team. This year's newcomers to the team have undoubtedly made an impact on the field. Freshman Caitlin Robinson has tallied two goals and one assist, while freshman Crystal Hackett has notched one goal, which was a game-winning goal against The Citadel, and two assists. Jaclyn Bishop has also notched a goal, while freshman Jordan Brown has been recognized as a Carolinas Border Classic All-Tournament player.

Time Running Out, 6 Games Left!
The Upstate women's soccer team will continue with their A-Sun competition this weekend as they travel to Mercer and Kennesaw State. The Spartans were 1-10 in Conference play last year and look to build upon that finish with this year's young, talented squad. The Spartans are 3-10 overall (1-5 in A-Sun), with five losses concluding with a 1-0 finish. The team is unquestionably more competitive and has greatly improved from last year's team, but it is important to end the season on a high note. Look for the Spartans at home again on Friday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct. 26.

Spartans To Look Out For:

Santana De Freitas:
De Freitas is the Spartan's leading scorer with three goals and one assist on the season. The fiesty junior midfielder is both a tough defender and talented offensive player that can sneak by players.

Crystal Hackett:
The freshman native from Connecticut is one of the fastest players on the field. She has started all 13 games for the Spartans and leads the team with 17 shots. She has tallied one goal and two assists.

Carmen Osorio:
The junior captain is not only a vocal leader on the field, but leads by example. The powerful defensive midfielder boasts a strong left foot and an aggressive attitude. She earns her offensive opportunities too and can drive through an entire team's line of defense.

Caitlin Robinson:
Robinson is also an offensive threat on the field for the Spartans. She has scored two goals and earned one assist on the year. She has a strong first touch and can be very effective in the forward position.