Spartanburg, S.C. – Jan Wienholt and Dylan Hoop scored a pair of goals each and Timo Foerster notched a goal and an assist to lead USC Upstate to a 5-1 victory over Spartanburg Methodist College in a scrimmage game Wednesday night at County University Soccer Stadium. The Spartans played 26 of the 28 roster players in the game.
Upstate, in its first week of practice for the 2011 season, saw its first action against outside competition this summer and made the most of it, especially in the second and third 30-minute periods. Upstate held a 2-1 lead after the first 30-minute session, but SMC out-shot the Spartans, 7-6, in the period.
Upstate, though limited SMC to just one shot over the final 60 minutes of the game and scored three more goals for the final 5-1 decision.
"I thought our younger guys were a little nervous at first and all of our players, even our returners, were feeling each other and the game out early on," said Upstate head coach Greg Hooks. "You have to give credit to SMC. I don't think our players believed SMC was as good as they were and we were a little shocked at the start. But, once the players realized how good SMC was, we settled in and played well, particularly in the second and third periods."
Upstate got on the board first when Hoop (Cincinnati, Ohio) took a cross from Derek Dearmond (Austin, Texas) and put the shot in the back of the net in the sixth-minute. However, SMC struck less than a minute later when Tomas Acosta scored from six yards out.
Upstate went on top for good when Foerster (Oberkirk, Germany) played a ball from the right side into the middle of the box to Wienholt (Bocholt, Germany) who spun and put the ball past the Pioneer keeper for a 2-1 Spartan lead in the 13th-minute. Upstate goalkeeper Jason McCabe (Irmo, S.C.) kept the score at 2-1 with a strong diving save to his right off of a free kick by SMC. The period ended with the Spartans holding a 2-1 lead.
After playing nearly the entire second period without a score, Upstate notched a late goal in the 60th-minute to give Upstate a 3-1 lead. Upstate made it a 4-1 lead in the 63rd-minute and in the third period when Foerster gathered a cross from the left side and pounded a low shot into the left side of the net. The Spartans ended the scoring in the 84th-minute when Hoop scored his second goal of the game when he collected a loose ball on the left side of the box and put a shot into the right side of the goal to give Upstate a 5-1 lead.
Upstate finished the game leading SMC in shots, 20-8. The Spartans out-shot the Pioneers, 14-1, in the final two periods of the game. Upstate also held a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks."
It was a situation where we had the opportunity to play some freshman and get them in game situations," said Hooks. "Hopefully, this will alleviate their nerves for when they are put in the game during the regular season.
"As a whole, I thought we got better as the game went on. We didn't play well early, but as we got more comfortable, we started playing better. We still have a long way to go if we hope to compete and win games when the regular season starts."