SPARTANBURG, S.C.- For the first time in program history the USC Upstate women’s soccer team defeated cross-town rival Wofford College 2-1 at County University Soccer Stadium on Wednesday evening.
USC Upstate (2-2-2) got off to a hot start on the offensive side of the ball. 41 seconds into the contest, Emma Honis (Ocoee, Fla.) took the first shot of the game for the Spartans offense. Moments later senior midfielder Abbie Ellis (Clemmons, N.C.) ripped a shot off the crossbar. Then both teams took turns taking shots on the opposing keeper.
In the 23rd minute of the game Ellis took a pass from Honis at the top of the box and drove it passed the diving goalie to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. With the goal Ellis scored her 23rd career goal and passed Thea Moen to become the school’s all-time leader in goals scored.
The rest of the first half was a scoreless stand still between the two squads. The Spartans went into the halftime break with a 1-0 lead over the Terriers.
Both teams traded shots coming out of the intermission break. However, in the 53rd minute Wofford (3-4-0) tied the game at one on a goal from Katie Gilligan.
The tie did not last long as the Spartan offense went back to work. Jada Kinlaw (Greenville, S.C.) worked the ball down field and found Ellis open in the center of the pitch. Ellis never hesitated as she scored her second goal of the night tying her career high for goals in a game. The goal also gave the Spartans a 2-1 lead and a chance to beat Wofford for the first time in school history.
The USC Upstate defense buckled down and turned away shot-after-shot by the Wofford offense. Sophomore goalkeeper Logan Pace (Belmont, N.C.) stood strong in the net recording seven saves in the match.
As time ticked away from the clock it became more and more real for the USC Upstate supporters in the crowd. A final Wofford shot with 16 seconds to go in the game sailed over the goal and the USC Upstate bench could no longer contain themselves as they rushed onto the field as time expired.
Stats of the Game:
· This was the first time this season that USC Upstate won a match after being outshot by an opponent. Wofford outshot USC Upstate 28-13 and recorded five more shots on goal.
· Ellis led the Spartans with five total shots and a pair of shots on goal, Honis finished second on the team with four total shots and one shot on goal.
· Gilligan led the Terriers with 10 shots and four shots on goal, while Lucy Johnson added six shots in the contest.
· The USC Upstate women’s soccer team is back in action at County University Soccer Stadium at 7:00 p.m. against Hampton on Saturday afternoon.