Greenville, SC - May 16, 2014 - The Upward Stars entered the National Premier Soccer League in style, using a late first-half goal and a stout defense to win 1-0 over the Carolina Railhawks in their first ever NPSL game, played at Bob Jones University Friday night.
Giovanni Macias took a through pass and buried it in the back of the net in the final minute of the first half, and that was all the scoring the Stars would need. Goalkeeper Mitch McKay stopped every shot he faced; he also got a little help from defender Ben Allen, who cleared a Railhawks shot off the goal line early in the first half to preserve the shutout.
"The team worked hard and fought hard all game," assistant coach Camilo Rodriguez said. "Loved their work ethic, loved their intensity. Tonight they showed what they can do as a team. This is just the beginning."
On Friday night against the Railhawks – the 2013 USSSA national champions – the Stars earned the victory in front of a supportive Upstate crowd.
"They saw some excellent football played tonight," Stars head coach and general manager Paul Henson said. "It was a great victory for the first game of the season. We could not ask for anything more than that."
The Stars’ next home game is Wednesday, May 21 against FC Carolina Discovery, on the campus of USC Upstate. Next season the team will move into its permanent home at the Upward Star Center, a multisport complex being built in Spartanburg that is scheduled to open in September 2014.