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Second Half Surge Lifts Clemson Over Spartans

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Alex Garcev fights through two Clemson defenders

Alex Garcev fights through two Clemson defenders

Sept. 12, 2007

Box Score

Clemson, S.C. - Clemson and USC Upstate played to a scoreless tie in the first 45 minutes and Clemson struck early in the second half to go on for the 2-0 victory over the Spartans Wednesday night at Riggs Field.

Clemson improves to 3-2-0 on the season, while Upstate falls to 0-3-0 on the year. The Spartans return to action Sunday afternoon at Virginia Military Institute.

"I thought the guys gave a very good effort against one of the top soccer programs in the country," said Upstate head coach Greg Hooks who was an assistant at Clemson from 1988-90. "At times we had eight freshmen on the field at the same time and all gained valuable experience, holding their own for most of the match.

"The one thing they must learn is to play at that level for the entire game. A couple of lapses cause the game from being a 0-0 tie to a 2-0 loss."

Clemson's Danny Poe cracked the scoreboard in the 50th minute to give Clemson a 1-0 lead. Tate Parrish started the scoring play, sending a cross from the left corner over the goal mouth to the right side of the box where Eric Cava collected the cross and gave a one touch pass to Poe. Poe slid a shot by Upstate keeper Jack Stern to give the Tigers the 1-0 lead. The goal would eventually go down as the game winner.

Upstate tried to answer in the 56th minute when Chris McCoy fired a shot from outside the 18-yard box toward the upper right 90. The shot sailed just high and wide and the score remained 1-0 in Clemson's favor.

Upstate pushed tempo in the second half, sending more attacking players on Clemson's side of the field. The strategy paid off as Upstate had several chances to tie the match in the first 15 minutes of the half.

Clemson had a chance to add to its lead in the 63rd minute when Upstate's Kim Krohn was called for a foul in the box and the Tigers were awarded a penalty kick. However, Stern made a diving save on Mark Buchholz's shot and then deflected the rebounded header shot from David Bell to keep Clemson out of the net.

Clemson, though, struck two minutes later after a corner kick. Parker Rogers collected the ball outside of the 18-yard box and played a cross to Parrish in the box. Parrish sent a cross to David Newton who put the header away to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the 65th minute. It marked Parrish's second assist of the game.

The action was fast and furious in the second half. The teams combined for seven shots in the first half with Clemson taking five and Upstate notching two. However, the second half saw much more offensive play with the Tigers taking 13 shots and the Spartans taking eight.

In the first half, Upstate kept the match close by playing steadfast defense and attempted to turn the game on breakaway situations. Upstate had two open field situations but the Clemson defenders got back quickly enough to stymie any opportunity the Spartans had to get a quality shot on goal.

Upstate's best scoring opportunity of the first half came with just over five minutes to play when Carter Ridgeway hammered a shot from 18 yards out and Clemson keeper Joseph Bendik deflected the shot for an Upstate corner kick.

Clemson, though, had just as difficult a time cracking Upstate's defense. Two of Clemson's five shots came off of corner kicks, but the Spartans were able to withstand Clemson's attack to keep the game scoreless at the intermission. Clemson outshot Upstate 5-2 in the opening half with its best opportunity coming when Tommy Drake fired a shot just wide of the goal with 35 seconds to play before halftime.

 
USC Upstate Men's Soccer
 
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