CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston Southern women's soccer team looks to continue its hot streak on Wednesday when the Buccaneers visit USC Upstate for a 7 p.m. Big South contest.
CSU owns a win over Presbyterian and a tie with Longwood in Big South play, and with four points the Bucs are tied for second with High Point in the early stages of the conference race. The Bucs are 4-1-2 overall, marking the second time in school history and first since 1996 that CSU has only one loss through its first seven contests.
Freshmen have sparked CSU in its two Big South games. Riley Rumbley scored a pair of goals to erase a 1-0 deficit against Presbyterian, and Emily Kifer produced the game-winning tally in overtime. Two other first-year players - Danielle Maggio and Dakota Fiedler - had assists in the 3-2 victory.
Yet another freshman - Siera Kirby - played the role of hero in Sunday's 2-2 deadlock with Longwood, scoring the tying goal with just over a minute remaining in regulation. Sophomore Kayla Robinson scored her second goal of the season to even the match at 1-1 at the 75-minute mark. Robinson also has an assist and leads the Bucs in shots (17), shots on goal (11) and points (5).
Jazmin Gonzalez is one of the top goalkeepers in the Big South, ranking first in the league with a 1.14 goals against average and second with an .842 save percentage. Alyssa Dellacqua has started a pair of games in goal and has eight saves, increasing her career total to 225, the fifth most in CSU history.
Upstate is 4-5 and 0-2 in the Big South with conference losses to Gardner-Webb and High Point. The Spartans have victories over USC Beaufort, North Greenville, Alabama A&M and Delaware State and are 3-1 at home.
Abbie Ellis is first in the conference with 15 points and tied for first with six goals. Jada Kinlaw is tied for fourth with five goals, and Isabella Burns has scored three times. Samantha Munyon has the third-best goals against average at 1.48 and a .676 save percentage.
The Bucs lead the all-time series by a 5-2 margin, but this marks the first meeting as conference rivals. Upstate won the last encounter by a score of 2-1 in Charleston in 2013.