ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Sophomore forward Jackson Allen scored a pair of goals while senior defender Paul Egle added another to the Bulldogs’ tally, but UNC Asheville could not get past a feisty USC Upstate squad as the two teams opened the season with a 3-3 draw at Greenwood Field.
“We are disappointed to not have gotten all three points tonight,” said Asheville head coach Matt Kern. “I am pleased that we scored three quality goals, but realize we have work to do on our collective defending and mental focus for 90 minutes. We will rest and recover tomorrow and look to improve on Sunday against Brevard.”
Allen, making his debut wearing the Blue & White, opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he took long cross and struck it past the goalkeeper going left to right to put the Bulldogs up 1-0 in the contest. He then added another goal in a similar fashion in the 26th minute, hitting the inside of the right post and banking the ball into the net.
Upstate got on the board in the 31st minute when Kyle Juell was able to slip inside the 18 and take a cross from Matt Flynn to cut the Asheville lead in half.
The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead into the break.
Peter Bannister got the equalizer for the Spartans in the 52nd minute after a pass from Marvin Schmiege opened a lane on the right side for Bannister.
Egle put the Bulldogs up 3-2 in the 78th minute when he buried a free kick from 30 yards out into the upper left corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
The Spartans would answer in the 81st minute, with Schmiege scoring on a penalty kick that was awarded on a hand ball by a Bulldog defender in the box.
Neither team could put one in over the final 10 minutes of regulation or two overtime periods, finishing tied at three goals apiece.
Asheville will look to pick up its first win of 2014 when the Bulldogs host Brevard on Sunday at Greenwood Field. The game is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. and will be game two of a doubleheader with the UNC Asheville women’s soccer team. The Bulldog women will host Mars Hill at 1 p.m.