Having won two of its last three matches, the USC Upstate men’s soccer team returns to County University Soccer Stadium Wednesday at 7 p.m. to host Winthrop in its final non-conference home game of the season. The Spartans close the week with a trip to Gardner-Webb Saturday at 6 p.m. from Greene-Harbison Stadium.
All fans in attendance on Wednesday are encouraged to wear green in support of the Spartans as part of the annual “Wear Green” game.
Upstate enters the week having outscored its opponents 11-2 over its previous three games, which includes a 7-0 victory Sept. 5 at in-state rival Presbyterian. Freshman Gordon Wild became the first Spartan in school history with four goals in a game during the Division I era when he accomplished the feat against the Blue Hose.
The Spartans followed that performance with a 3-0 victory over VMI before a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to Wofford on Saturday. Wild scored two goals against the Keydets and another against the Terriers en route to being named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Week for the second consecutive week, becoming the first Spartan in school history to earn the honor in back-to-back weeks.
Wild has served as the offensive catalyst for the bulk of the season and opens the week first in the league and second in the NCAA with seven goals. The Steimel, Germany, native leads the country with 1.75 goals per game and ranks second with 14 points. Collectively, Upstate is first in the A-Sun and tied for 21st in the NCAA with 11 goals scored.
Winthrop (1-4-0) dropped its fourth straight match on Friday when the Eagles suffered a 3-2 loss at Charlotte. The Eagles held a 1-0 lead at halftime, but Charlotte answered with three straight goals early in the second half and held on for the victory.
Senior defender Jordi Lluch leads Winthrop with eight points on four goals, while forward Max Hasenstab has scored the only other goal for the Eagles.
Gardner-Webb lost its third consecutive game after falling 3-1 at UAB on Sunday. The Bulldogs haven’t won since downing Laurel University 7-2 on Sept. 5. Both Filipe Conceicao and Sami Jilla have five points on two goals and one assist to lead the Gardner-Webb offensive attack.