Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate men’s soccer team made school history on Tuesday when the National Soccer Coaches Association of America ranked the Spartans eighth in its newest Southeast Poll.
It’s the first time in school history that Upstate men’s soccer has been ranked in the region during the Division I era.
Upstate boasts a 4-2-0 overall record and is coming off wins last week against Winthrop and Gardner-Webb. After opening the season with a 2-0 setback to UNC Asheville, Upstate won four of its next five games and has scored at least three goals in each of its wins. In fact, the Spartans lead the NCAA in scoring offense with 3.17 goals per game and rank fourth with 19 goals.
The scoring onslaught began Sept. 5 when the Spartans turned in a single-game school record seven goals in a shutout of Presbyterian. Freshman Gordon Wild netted four goals for a Division I single-game school record, becoming the first Spartan since Gary Lynch in 2004 with four goals in a game.
Wild would go on to score two goals in a 3-0 win over VMI, three in a 5-4 victory against Winthrop and two more Saturday in a 3-2 win at Gardner-Webb. The Steimel, Germany, native leads the country in goals (12), goals per game (2.00), points (24), points per game (4.00), shots per game (5.67) and shots on goal per game (3.50).
Wild’s phenomenal rookie season has allowed him to win the Atlantic Sun Player of the Week in three consecutive weeks, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat in the conference in over 23 years. In addition, Wild was tabbed the Top Drawer Soccer and NSCAA National Player of the Week earlier this week.
Upstate looks for its third straight win Friday at 7 p.m. when the Spartans travel to Davidson, N.C., to face Davidson from Alumni Soccer Stadium.