The four goals scored by the Lady Bisons are the most they have scored in the history of the program in an Atlantic Sun game. It was the most goals scored by a Lady Bisons team since they won 6-0 on the road at Arkansas-Pine Bluff Sept. 3, 2006.
It also marks the first time the Lady Bisons have won an A-Sun game by more than one goal. It was the first time the Lady Bisons have won any game by more than one goal during coach Jon Ireland’s three seasons with the team.
Kate Spellman scored two first half goals to help spark the Lady Bisons. Spellman, a junior forward, is the first Lady Bisons player to score multiple goals in a game this season. She scored her first goal at 15:15 and her second at 17:25.
“Kate creates so much for everyone else,” said Ireland. “She is so good at setting other people up. For her to get those goals was big.
“In the past we may have needed Kate more to set people up. With the team we have now we need her to do a lot. We ask her to set other people up, but to also finish her chances.”
Also scoring for the Lady Bisons were midfielder Meghan McGuire, who scored at 21:20 of the first half, and forward Andie Thornton, who added the final goal at the 83:43 mark of the second half.
“I’m proud of our players for finally stepping up and finishing plays,” said Ireland. “This was not our best game of the year by any means. There was some sloppy play here and there, but overall I am proud of our players. There is a lot of parity in this conference, but we took a step in the right direction.”
The Lady Bisons held a 31-7 edge in shots and a 17-4 margin in shots on goal. Spellman had a game-high seven shots and five shots on goal.
Freshman Ally Marler went the distance for the Lady Bisons in goal. She made three saves.
It was not an easy win for the Lady Bisons. The game started out exactly as Ireland feared it might with Upstate’s Athena Lopez scoring 55 seconds into the game.
“It is just a lack of focus for whatever reason,” said Ireland. “Our players warm up well. They get themselves hyped up. They are ready to go, but when the game begins they lose focus.
“We have to get that fixed. Because when we play other teams in the conference we won’t be able to come back after giving them an early lead.”
It was the first Atlantic Sun win for the Lady Bisons this season. They are 3-8-0 overall and 1-2-0 in the conference. USC Upstate has not won a game this season. They are 0-12-0 overall, 0-3-0 in the A-Sun.
“It is always good to get a conference win, but it was great to be able to come back and jump on them and get the lead,” said Ireland. “The disappointing part is that there were still a lot of missed opportunities.”
The Lady Bisons are back at home Sunday at 1 for an A-Sun game with ETSU. The game can be seen on ASUN TV.