Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's soccer team burst out of the gate with three unanswered goals in the first 22 minutes and went on for a 6-1 win in a scrimmage match against Newberry Wednesday night at County University Soccer Stadium.
The game was the first outside competition for Upstate this season. The teams played three 30 minute periods in the 90 minute scrimmage.
Upstate's offense was spot on in the first 30 minute period as the Spartans took a 3-1 lead into the second period. Marvin Schmiege (Berlin, Germany) got things going just four minutes into the match when he took a pass from fellow countryman Michael Schwindl (Munich, Germany) in the middle of the box and put the shot away for a 1-0 Spartan lead.
Upstate made it a 2-0 lead in the 20th minute when Schmiege gained control of the ball near the midfield stripe and played a forward ball to Dave Musambi (Ottawa, Ontario) who was one-on-one with the keeper and pounded a shot into the net. Musambi was a second team All-ASun selection last year and is the team's leading returning scorer. The Spartans made it a 3-0 lead less than two minutes later when Michael Rankin-Byrne (Kingston, Ontario) gained control of a loose ball in the box and put the shot in the net.
Newberry found the back of the net in the 25th minute when Mario Stojkoski converted a penalty kick after Upstate committed a foul in the box. The period ended with Upstate owning a 3-1 lead and a 6-2 advantage in shots.
While the first period was explosive offensively, the second 30 minute period was just the opposite. Upstate led in shots in the period, 5-2, but none of the shots either team took found the net as the defenses and keepers settled into the flow of the game.
After a scoreless second period, Upstate cracked the scoreboard in the 12th minute of the period and 72nd of the match. Musambi took control of the ball on the left side of the field after a long pass from the back. He moved toward center and played a perfect pass across the goal mouth to Westin Lendon (Peachtree City, Ga.) who got a foot on the ball to direct the shot into net to give the Spartans a 4-1 lead. Less than two minutes later, Julian Feneberg (Durach, Germany) gained control of the ball 16 yards out and pounded a shot into the goal for a 5-1 Spartan advantage.
Upstate ended the scoring in the match with less than five minutes to play when Rankin-Byrne took the ball down the right side just outside of the box and played a cross to the goal mouth. Joshua Jenkins (Columbia, S.C.) was there to hammer a shot that found the net despite the efforts of the Newberry keeper to get a hand on the bullet of a shot. The goal gave Upstate a 6-1 lead. Upstate outshot Newberry 7-0 in the third period and owned an 18-4 advantage for the match.
Upstate will play its second of three preseason scrimmages Saturday night at 7:00 against Winthrop at County University Soccer Stadium.