Leon Schwarzer scored two goals, one in each half, to lift the USC Upstate men’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Belmont Abbey in the exhibition opener for the Spartans Monday night at County University Soccer Stadium.
Schwarzer netted his first goal in the 38th minute and his second in the 86th minute to account for the scoring. Gordon Wild assisted on both goals out of his forward position.
After each team had one solid scoring opportunity early in the first half, Upstate capitalized on its best chance in the 38th minute to open a 1-0 lead, an advantage it took into the intermission. Rinaldi Alphonse started things off by feeding Wild along the left side of the box. Wild played a cross to Schwarzer who took a couple of dribbles and fired a shot into the lower right side of the goal for the 1-0 Spartan lead.
Prior to Schwarzer’s goal, Upstate goalkeeper Hassan Haddad made the game’s first big save when he dove to his right to save a shot from 10 yards out in the seventh minute. His counterpart made a solid save on Wild’s shot in the 28th minute as the game moved to the second part of the half in a scoreless tie.
The teams dodged a late steady rain in the final 10 minutes of the match. Haddad came up with a save on a free kick in the 62nd minute to thwart the Crusaders’ best scoring threat of the half to keep the Spartans in front. Belmont Abbey also missed an open right side of the net on a corner kick when the first touch shot went wide of the mark in the 85th minute.
Schwarzer benefitted from a pair of timely and accurate passes to score his second goal of the game in the 86th minute to give Upstate a 2-0 lead. Caleb Tierney started things off by playing a long ball down the left side to Wild. Wild collected the pass, moved into the box to draw defenders to him and played a cross to a wide open Schwarzer who put the shot away into the open goal.
Upstate will be back in action Thursday night at 7 to take on Bob Jones in its second exhibition of the season.