Spartans Drop Two Conference Games in Sunshine State
Sept. 28, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The USC Upstate women's soccer squad finished their first weekend of A-Sun Conference competition on Sunday with a record of 0-2. After losing to North Florida, 2-1, on Friday night, the Spartans were unable to turn it around against Jacksonville, falling 3-1.
Jacksonville was first to get on the scoreboard, and did so twice within the first ten minutes of play. Senior Keri Zwikker scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season six minutes into the game off a break-away to give the Dolphins a 1-0 edge. Only minutes later, Jelena Vrcelj increased the Dolphins lead off a penalty kick that Upstate goalie, Brittany Daughtry, was unable to handle.
The Dolphins were first to the ball on many occasions. The Spartan defense, lacking sophomore Catherine Nolff who injured her wrist in Friday's game, lacked their usual composure and stability. Free kicks awarded to Jacksonville also proved to harm the Spartans as the Dolphins collected their third goal of the game with nearly 27 minutes left to play in the second half. Zwikker reached the back of the net for her second time of the game off a Jacksonville free kick, providing them with a 3-0 lead that they never relinquished.
Alyssa Roegner scored her first goal of the season with three minutes left in the game to prevent the Dolphins from the shutout win. Roegner's goal was unassisted and sailed to the upper left corner of the net from nearly 15 yards out.
For the Spartans, Daughtry collected nine saves. The Dolphins accumulated 22 shots, compared to the Spartans' eight shots. Most play occurred within the midfield with both teams receiving several fouls and cautions. There were 35 total fouls and five total cautions given.
"Obviously, we didn't start as well as we would have liked," said head coach Kendall Reyes. "We were unsettled playing without Nolff, who has been steady for us all year. Giving up two goals in a Conference game on the road put us in a tough hole. Our players are remaining positive and playing hard until the end. We look forward to earning some Conference wins next weekend."
The Spartans fall to 2-7 overall and 0-2 in Conference play. Upstate will play again on Friday night (Oct. 3) as they look to rebound when they host the Belmont Bruins at 7 p.m. at County University Soccer Stadium.