The USC Upstate men’s soccer team made program history Saturday night when three Spartans combined to score a single-game school record seven goals en route to a 7-0 rout of Presbyterian on Edens Field at Martin Stadium. Freshman Gordon Wild tallied a Division I era school record four goals in the win.
The seven goals were the most scored in one game by any Upstate men’s soccer team in the program’s Division I era with the Spartans now in their ninth year in Division I. The previous single-game school record on the Division I level was four. It also marked just the third time since 2010 that an A-Sun team scored six goals in a game. The seven goals were the most scored by a Spartan team since an 8-1 victory over USC Aiken in the first game of the 2004 Peach Belt Conference Tournament.
Wild scored twice in the first half and twice in the second half, scoring in the 22nd, 42nd, 51st and 86th minutes of the match. It marked the first time since Gary Lynch in 2004 that a Spartan scored four goals in a game. Lynch scored four goals in the 7-0 rout of Union en route to being named a Division II All-American and leading the nation in scoring. Wild’s four goals overshadowed a two-goal performance from Leon Schwarzer, who scored in the 27th and 32nd minutes.
In its second game of the season and after being held scoreless in the season opener against UNC Asheville, Upstate found the back of the net in the 22nd minute with the game’s first goal and then scored often to open a 4-0 lead at halftime. And the rout was one.
Freshman forward Wild got things going when he took a pass from Lukas Sommer from the left side and put the shot away in the 22nd minute for his first career goal and a 1-0 Spartan lead. Five minutes later, Schwarzer collected a loose ball in the box and fired a shot into the net for his first goal of the season to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead in the 27th minute.
Less than five minutes later Schwarzer gave Upstate a 2-0 lead when he notched his second goal of the night to give the Spartans a 3-0 advantage in the 32nd minute. He had control of the ball and beat two defenders to go one-on-one with the keeper and put the shot away. Wild punctuated the half with his second goal of the night and the season when he beat a couple of defenders and moved in from the left to beat the keeper from close in with less than four minutes to play.
The scoring parade continued early in the second half when Wild scored his third goal of the night to complete the hat trick in the 51st minute. He beat two defenders again and put the shot away to give the Spartans a 5-0 lead. Michelangelo Dovidio struck less than two minutes later for his first career goal off an assist from James Campbell to make it a 6-0 Spartan lead. Wild finished the scoring with a penalty kick goal in the 86th minute to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead.
Upstate starting goalkeeper Hassan Haddad gave way to Davis Smith in the 57th minute and the two combined to record the shutout for the Spartans. Presbyterian held an 18-14 lead in shots in the game. However, the Spartans were much more efficient in placing nine of their 14 shots on goal. Only four of the Blue Hose’s shots were on frame.