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Oct. 14, 2007
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Spartanburg native Carter Ridgeway scored two goals, one in each half, to lead the USC Upstate men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Atlantic Sun Conference rival Gardner-Webb Sunday night.
Upstate improves to 3-9-0 overall and 3-2-0 with nine points in the A-Sun. The nine points keeps the Spartans in the top half of the conference standings. Gardner-Webb falls to 1-11-1 overall and 1-4-0 with three points in the league. Upstate travels to Mercer in Macon, Ga., Thursday for an A-Sun showdown with the Bears.
Gardner-Webb struck first and it didn't take the Bulldogs long to make it happen. After a defensive breakdown by Upstate, Zach Burkett played a cross to Richard Godfrey on the right side of the box. Godfrey took the ball out of the air and gave a one touch pass to Jordan Gaines who put the shot away in the open goal just 4:50 into the match to give G-W a 1-0 lead.
The lead would stand for the better part of the first half until Ridgeway tied the game for the Spartans in the 40th minute. Ridgeway took a pass from Steve Bantock and lifted a shot from 30 yards out. He put enough side spin on the ball to move it left to right and enough top spin to make it dip under the cross bar and into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
Upstate goalkeeper Jason McCabe also came up big for the Spartans in the first half. After another defensive breakdown by the Spartans, McCabe was left one-one-one with Godfrey who hammered a shot that was blocked by McCabe in the 25th minute. Had the shot found the back of the net, Upstate would have faced a 2-0 deficit.
The second half was nearly a mirror image of the first when both teams pushed to create scoring opportunities. After playing nearly 30 minutes, Upstate finally broke through on the play of Ridgeway and freshman Chad McCoy. McCoy gained control of the ball about 40 yards out and moved towards the goal. He lifted a pass over two Gardner-Webb defenders to a streaking Ridgeway who took the pass and fired a shot into the net to give Upstate a 2-1 lead in the 74th minute.
With Upstate leading, G-W fought to tie the game. However, the Spartan defense played a bend but don't break style of ball. The Bulldogs were able to create some chances, but the Spartan defenders and McCabe kept G-W out of the net and Upstate held on for its third conference victory.
McCabe finished the game with eight saves while facing 18 shots, nine of which were placed on target. Upstate took just nine shots in the game with two being placed on goal.