Fort Myers, Fla. – Leon Schwarzer scored two goals, including the golden goal game-winner, to lift the fourth-seeded USC Upstate men’s soccer team to a 3-2 overtime victory over the fifth seed Jacksonville Dolphins Thursday evening in the first round of the A-Sun Men’s Soccer Championship from FGCU Soccer Complex.
With the win, Upstate advances to the semifinals for the first time in A-Sun Championship history and plays top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast Saturday evening at 7 p.m. in Fort Myers. The Spartans improve to 6-6-1 on the season while Jacksonville’s season ends at 3-12-1.
Upstate recorded its first-ever win in the A-Sun Championship as Schwarzer recorded the final two goals within a 15-minute span. Trailing 2-1 with less than 20 minutes remaining in the contest, Schwarzer tied the game for the Spartans with his penalty kick just as the game was entering the 83rd minute of play.
The sophomore, who was named A-Sun First Team All-Conference on Wednesday, sent Upstate into the semifinals in the 98th minute off a corner kick from the far side. The corner by Gordon Wild sailed to the back post where the ball was deflected into to the middle of the box. After bouncing around a few times, the ball made its way to the feet of Schwarzer who quickly placed his shot past Dolphin goalie Marc Meny.
Schwarzer picked up his seventh and eighth goals of the season on Thursday. He became just the 18th player in Championship history to score twice in a single match.
Jacksonville struck first in the 17th minute as Griffin Kelly gave JU a 1-0 lead. Juan Arguedas was credited with the assist after his corner near side went back post to Kelly and scored with a header past Spartan goalie Hassan Haddad.
Wild, this year’s A-Sun Freshman of the Year, notched Upstate’s first-ever A-Sun Championship goal in the 41st minute to send the Spartans into halftime tied 1-1 with the Dolphins. Upstate was awarded a free kick from 20 yards out following a Jacksonville penalty and Wild responded by targeting his shot over the JU wall past Meny. Wild is now tied for the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer scoring lead with 15.
Martin Agredo put the Dolphins back in front 2-1 in the 73rd minute after a through ball up the middle by Jack Burns. Agredo’s one-timer went just past Haddad to the right and into the net.
Schwarzer and Wild combined for 11 shots in the game with nine coming on-goal. Haddad finished the contest with one save.
Arguedas had a team-high four shots for Jacksonville and was one of three players with an attempt on-net.