Playing a man down for the entirety of the second half, the Stetson men's soccer team (2-5-1, 1-2-0) fell to USC Upstate (4-7-1, 2-2-0) by a score of 3-0 on Sunday afternoon.
After dominating possession and creating many more opportunities at goal, a late red card in the first half put the Hatters in a difficult position. The tides turned quickly as the Spartans scored three goals in a six minute and 16 second span to put this contest out of reach for Stetson.
The Hatters attempted to keep the ball at their feet in the second frame, but playing 10 on 11 made that a very difficult task. USC Upstate took advantage of the opportunity, scoring just over six minutes into the half on a corner kick by Marvin Schmiege. The Spartan found the head of Derek Dearmond, whose attempt beat goalkeeper Andreas Schnabl.
Upstate didn't let up as Dave Musambi scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season less than two minutes later. A similar goal, Musambi received a chip pass from Michael Rankin-Byrne at the 6 yard box, and headed it past Schnabl to give the Spartans a commanding 2-0 lead.
Musambi then assisted on the final Upstate goal of the match, finding an open Schmiege in the box. His flick of the ball towards the right post ended up in the back of the net and virtually put the game away for the Spartans with a man up and just over 30 minutes remaining.
The Hatters continued to fight until the end though. A long cross from the right side early in the second half by senior Jonathan Mendoza found the foot of sophomore Eli Beates, but the midfielder's attempt at goal sailed just wide of the net.
Late in the game, when the match was all but over, Stetson continued to create opportunities with only 10 men on the field. With just over five minutes remaining, seniors Joakim Helland and Kai Eckenrode hooked up for a give-and-go near the end line that resulted in Helland's attempt barely deflecting off of Upstate goalkeeper Dani Alvarado and out of bounds.
Despite playing half the contest down a man, Stetson only trailed Upstate 16-14 in total shots, and recorded eight corner kicks to the Spartans' seven. Schnabl totaled three saves in the loss, while Alvarado finished with two in the victory.
Stetson will next head back on the road, playing at Lipscomb on Friday, October 19 at 8:00 p.m., and then at new Atlantic Sun Conference member Northern Kentucky on Sunday, October 21 at 1:00 p.m.