Mutiny forward Kyle Murphy scored his first two goals of the season on Tuesday.
Unfortunately for Myrtle Beach, the effort from the Clemson sophomore wasn’t enough.
After scoring a goal in the first half, Murphy scored in the 59th minute to cut the Mutiny’s deficit to one but that was as close as they would get as Myrtle Beach fell to the Greenville/Spartanburg Upward Stars 4-2 at Ashley Booth Field.
“It’s a bit disappointing, I’m not going to lie. I think we’re better than we showed tonight,” Mutiny coach Jack Vundum said. “In the world of sports, some days you have off days but you can’t have them too often and tonight was one of those. We didn’t perform and didn’t give ourselves a true showing of what we are and it leaves that disappointing feeling. But we’ll pick ourselves up and I’m sure the boys will be here and turn in a better performance on Friday.”
The Upward Stars scored two quick goals in the first half, before Murphy got one to the net in the 42nd minute. Myrtle Beach went into halftime trailing 2-1.
“I thought we came out a little slow which is disappointing,” Murphy said. “Luckily I got that one goal before the half so that lifted us up a little bit, but unluckily we weren’t able to come away with the win.”
Despite trailing by two goals for much of the second half, Murphy said he expected his team to rally.
“I thought we were going to be able to come back,” he said. “We had a lot of chances going forward and we had a lot of energy just sometimes it doesn’t happen.”
The Rising Stars played a portion of the first half and the entire second half with just 10 men after Ben Allen was sent off with a red card, by Myrtle Beach was unable to capitalize enough times to change the result.
“We had the man advantage so I thought there were going to be spaces and chances,” Vundum said. “Every time we’d find one and think we’re coming back into the game there was some mental errors [and] sloppiness and it just deflates you so it’s tough to bounce back. Tonight we were our own worst enemy.”
Greenville/Spartanburg’s John Finlay put the game away, scoring a goal in the 70th minute to give the Upward Stars a 4-2 advantage.
“They’re a good team,” Murphy said. “Each time we go up against them, they give us a good game. They’re just a good team to compete against.”
Vundum said Murphy has been close to scoring in the past few games and was glad to finally see his forward get on the scoresheet.
“He’s fantastic,” Vundum said of Murphy. “Those are his first two goals of the season and I’m really happy for Kyle to get on the scoresheet, it’s what he deserves. He works his socks off as you can tell by his performance tonight. I’m really glad for Kyle, I’m sure he’ll tell you that he’s disappointed from a team perspective we didn’t get a win but for him personally I’m really pleased. I know he’ll move forward and score a few more goals for the team.”
Meanwhile, the Mutiny have a few players with local ties. Myrtle Beach graduate and rising senior at Furman Hart Zwing, who led the Seahawks to the state championship in 2011, plays defenseman for the Mutiny. Carolina Forest product Chris Glodack, who plays collegiate soccer at Clemson, is a goalkeeper for Myrtle Beach, and former Myrtle Beach standout RP Benik, who played at Wofford from 2002 to 2005, has decided to stay and play with the Mutiny.
“Being part of the local community it’s good for the soccer community of Myrtle Beach and the young kids to see they have the chance to come play at this level. It’s really good for the local people,” Vundum said.
The Mutiny will host the USL Pro Wilmington Hammerheads on July 7, as the two teams will battle it out for the first time on the Grand Strand.
“Probably going to be a physical game, I’m looking forward to it,” Murphy said. “[We are] playing a professional team, which is always good competition. It should be fun.”
Said Vundum: “It’s a good opportunity for my players to showcase themselves. Some of these guys have the aspirations of going on after here to play against that good level of competition. So it’s a great stage for them to show what they’re made of. I’m looking forward to that and I’m sure the players are too.”
Contact MAX McKINNON at 626-0302.