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FORT MYERS, Fla. - A 97th minute golden goal from Michelangelo Dovidio propelled the No. 4 USC Upstate Spartans to an Atlantic Sun Men's Soccer Championship Semifinal 4-3 upset victory over No. 1 FGCU on Saturday evening at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
The two sides found themselves locked in a 1-1 draw at halftime after a physical first 45 minutes of play. FGCU (7-4-3) struck first on a goal from Skylar Wilks but was unable to score more afterwards on a flurry of offensive strikes including four shots on goal. The Spartans found the equalizer in the 27th minute from Lukas Sommer who took advantage of a deflected shot leading to an open goal.
The Eagles regained the lead in the 67th minute as Wilks joined in on the scoring play again, this time as the helper, passing a ball into the box that was one-timed by Albert Ruiz for his seventh goal of the season. The Spartans responded just five minutes later however, as Freshman of the Year Gordon Wild rifled home his 16th goal of 2015 to even things up at two goals apiece.
Heading into the final 10 minutes, FGCU controlled the ball into the far left corner by Ruiz, who crossed into the box where Upstate goalie Haddad punched the ball directly into the chest of Eagle #10 David Robledo who knocked in the third goal for the Eagles. After the 3-2 FGCU lead, USC Upstate came right back down the field as Leon Schwarzer netted his third goal of the Atlantic Sun Men's Soccer Championship and ninth of the year, sending the game into overtime.
The Spartans controlled the ball for the majority of the overtime period before Michelangelo Dovidio shot home a bouncing ball around the box, sending USC Upstate to its first-ever A-Sun Championship Final appearance.
The No. 4 Spartans advance to the A-Sun Championship Final on Saturday, Nov. 14th at 7 p.m. where they will face No. 2 seed North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.
FGCU vs. USC Upstate Championship Notes
- Tonight marked FGCU's first loss to a conference foe since November 1, 2014 against Lipscomb.
- Lukas Sommer's 27th minute strike was USC Upstate's first goal against the Eagles since 2008.
- With tonight's win, USC Upstate increased its D1 program record for single-season victories with seven. The Spartans are now 7-6-1.
- USC Upstate heads to the A-Sun Men's Soccer Championship Final for the first-time ever. A No. 4 seed has never won the tournament title.
- For the third consecutive season, the No. 1 seed has failed to reach the A-Sun Men's Soccer Championship Final.