SPARTANBURG, S.C. (School Release) - The Mercer men's soccer team scored two goals in the final 12 minutes of play to steal a 2-1 comeback win over USC Upstate on Sunday afternoon at County University Soccer Stadium.
With the win, Mercer (11-5-1, 6-1-0 A-Sun) clinched no worse than a No. 2 seed and a first round bye in the upcoming Atlantic Sun Tournament on November 7-11.
Mercer out-shot USC Upstate (5-8-1, 3-3-0 A-Sun) 16-5 and held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks in a game in which it thoroughly dominated time of possession and attacking aggression.
The Bears nearly got on the board in the opening minutes of the contest when junior Ehjayson Henry dribbled around USC Upstate goalkeeper Dani Alvarado and fired a shot on net that was saved off the line by a USC Upstate defender to keep the game scoreless.
Despite Mercer dominating the run of play throughout the majority of the first half, it would be the home team who put the ball in the back of the net first just before halftime. Senior Matt Begley collected a pass at the top of the box and put a shot on goal that was deflected by a Bears defender and past goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh to give the Spartans a 1-0 advantage going into intermission.
The Orange and Black tried to net an equalizer in the 70th minute of play, but a pair of shots by senior Richie Edmondson was saved by Alvarado to keep USC Upstate in front, 1-0.
Edmondson and the Bears kept pushing forward and the pressure paid off just in the nick of time. Edmondson launched a cross into the box that skipped past a few USC Upstate defenders and right to sophomore Carl-Oscar Andersson who slipped a shot into the net to tie the game at 1-1 in the 78th minute of play.
The Orange and Black completely changed the complexion of the game three minutes later, thanks largely to the play of Andersson. The Falkenberg, Sweden native sent in a beautiful cross that Henry headed past a lunging Alvarado to send Mercer home with an improbable 2-1 road win.
Ranjitsingh had to make only one save in the win while Alvarado turned away eight Mercer shots in a losing effort.
Mercer concludes its 2012 regular season in Macon against Florida Gulf Coast on November 3. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bear Field and will serve as senior night for six seniors.