The reigning A-Sun player of the week, Gordon Wild, certainly proved himself worthy of the honor by scoring the first two goals of the night to lift USC Upstate to a 3-0 victory over VMI in non-conference men’s soccer action Tuesday night at County University Soccer Stadium.
Upstate improved to 2-1-0 on the year, while VMI fell to 0-3-0. The Spartans will be back in action Saturday night when they face cross town rival Wofford at 7 p.m. at County University Soccer Stadium. Upstate head coach Greg Hooks won his 299th career game against VMI and will look for No. 300 Saturday against the Terriers.
Three days after scoring a Division I era school record four goals, Gordon Wild put Upstate on the board first in the 13th minute. Leon Schwarzer took the ball down the right side and played a cross to the middle of the box. Wild took the ball out of the air and placed a shot into the net to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
Beerman came up big, deflecting a header on a hard shot deep in the box to keep the Keydets off the board in the 29th minute. VMI goalkeeper Alex Guerra made a huge save on Schwarzer’s shot from point blank range in the 33rd minute of play to keep the deficit at one for the Keydets.
Upstate went into the intermission holding a 1-0 lead and a 7-4 advantage on shots.
Upstate goalkeeper Hassan Haddad came up big in the 58th minute, making a diving save on a shot to keep the Spartans on top, 1-0. Upstate dodged another bullet in the 60th minute when Todd Johnson’s shot from six yards out was blocked. That block led to Upstate’s second goal.
Wild took control of the ball near midfield and took the ball on a long run. He moved to the left side of the six-yard box and put a shot in the right side of the net to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead just 13 seconds after Johnson’s blocked shot. It marked his sixth goal in the last two games.
Michelangelo Dovidio made it a 3-0 Upstate lead in the 75th minute. VMI lost control of the ball attempting to clear it out of the box. Dovidio gained control on the left side and put the shot away for the three-goal Spartan lead.
Upstate finished the game with a 21-7 lead in shots, placing 10 shots on goal to VMI’s two.