Men’s soccer rallies to down USC Upstate in A-Sun opener, 3-2
The JU men’ soccer team scored two second-half goals to defeat USC Upstate, 3-2, in its Atlantic Sun Conference opener on Friday night at County Soccer Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C.

The Dolphins (4-6-0, 1-0-0 A-Sun) rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the first half and got the game-winning goal from freshman Nurdin Hurstic in the 84th minute. The Spartans (1-8, 0-1) got a goal and an assist from sophomore forward Alex Garcev in the loss.

“This was a great way to set the tone for our A-Sun schedule,” said JU head coach Mike Johnson. “We got down in the first half, but I was happy to see the poise our guys showed to rally back and win the match. We know that we have a bulls eye on our back as defending champions and this was a good start to the 2008 conference schedule. We have to keep the momentum going into Sunday.”

The Spartans took a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the match on a goal from freshman midfielder Kevin Cawthon.

Freshman forward Kristian Lassen tied the match for the Dolphins in the 12th minute after scoring on a low shot deflected off a Spartan player.

Garcev scored his second goal of the season in the left corner from a pass by sophomore forward Erkan Yildirim in the 22nd minute to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead heading into half.

The Dolphins began their comeback in the 68th minute when sophomore midfielder Nedim Hrustic scored his first goal of the season to tie the match.

In the 84th minute, JU got a break when sophomore defender Chad McCoy got issued a yellow card to give the Dolphins a free kick from 20 yards out. Senior forward Sebastian Lindholm lofted up a cross to the middle which Nurdin Hrustic headed home to give the Dolphins the game-winning goal.

Yildirim got in scoring range less than three minutes later, but junior defender Oliver Klingenstein cleared the ball to quash the opportunity and help secure the JU win.

Senior goalie Joey Sanchez recorded four saves between the posts for the Dolphins, while junior goalie Patrick Regina made eight stops in the loss for the Spartans. The Dolphins wrap their season-long seven-match trip on Sunday against East Tennessee State in Johnson City, Tenn. Kick off is set for 1 p.m.