Freshman Dave Musambi (Ottawa, Ontario) scored his first career goal and it turned out to be the game-winner as USC Upstate opened A-Sun play with a 3-1 victory over Lipscomb Friday night in men's soccer action at County University Soccer Stadium.
Upstate improved to 4-4-0 overall and 1-0-0 with three points in the A-Sun. The Spartans will take on Belmont Sunday afternoon at 2:00 at County University Soccer Stadium. The Bruins opened A-Sun play with a 3-1 victory over nationally-ranked ETSU Thursday night. Lipscomb fell to 1-8-2 overall and 0-1-0 in the A-Sun. The Bisons will face ETSU Sunday.
Lipscomb nearly broke on top in the 10th-minute when Nick Bibb fought through the Upstate defense and hit a shot toward the left side of the goal. However, Upstate goalkeeper Jason McCabe (Irmo, S.C.) was there to make the diving save.
Five minutes later, Upstate cashed in with a goal to take a 1-0 lead. Hakeem King (Port of Spain, Trinidad) took the ball down the right center of the field and played a lead pass to the left center of the field to an open Dylan Hoop (Cincinnati, Ohio). Hoop was one-on-one with Lipscomb keeper Brent McGee. McGee charged Hoop, but Hoop was able to move around him and put a shot into the open goal in the 15th-minute.
Upstate missed a golden opportunity to make it a 2-0 game in the 35th-minute. After Lipscomb missed on a header off of a corner kick, the Spartans counter-attacked. Musambi was played a lead pass from Derek Dearmond (Austin, Texas) and got behind the Lipscomb defense. He was one-on-one with the keeper, but his low shot went wide left of the goal.
Upstate did make it a 2-0 game late in the first half and Musambi came through. Timo Foerster (Oberkirk, Germany) took the ball in the middle of the field and played a lead pass to Musambi at the top of the box on the left side. Musambi beat his defender, gained control of the ball and sent a low, hard shot into the left side of the box. McGee got a finger on the ball, but shot was too hard and finished in the net for a 2-0 Upstate lead in the 43rd-minute.
Upstate took a 2-0 lead into halftime. Lipscomb took nine shots in the first half, putting three on goal. McCabe made three saves in the half. Upstate took five shots in the opening 45 minutes. Three Spartan shots were on frame and McGee made three saves.
Lipscomb nearly cut into the Upstate lead early in the second half, but Upstate's Kareem Richardson (Port of Spain, Trinidad) made a stellar play to save a goal. Matt Kerridge was played a cross and he put a header toward the far post away from McCabe. Richardson, though, was there to head the ball off the line to save the goal and keep the Bisons off the scoreboard in the 54th-minute.
Lipscomb cut into the Upstate lead in the 67th-minute. Isaac Pile played a cross into the box where Andrew Chamberlain took control with a strong trap, then hammered a shot toward the goal. The ball deflected off of an Upstate defender and into the net to get the Bisons within a goal, 2-1.
Upstate put the game away at the 84-minute mark when King put away a shot into the open goal after Jan Weinholt's (Bocholt, Germany) shot was saved but deflected by McGee. King took control four yards out and put the shot into the empty net for a 3-1 lead.
Lipscomb finished the game with a 20-9 lead in shots, but the Bisons put just eight shots on frame. McCabe made six saves and Richardson made the team save for the Spartans. Upstate put six of its nine shots on goal with McGee making three saves for the Bisons.
"The most important aspect of our play tonight was that we were able to score three goals. Regardless of possession time or opportunities Lipscomb had, the difference maker was that we were able to finish on some of our chances. Although I think we made several mistakes in the second half, Jason McCabe and some of the field players came up with some big plays to keep them from scoring more than one goal," said Upstate head coach Greg Hooks.