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Dec. 6, 2002

The South Carolina men’s soccer team completed another successful season under the helm of Head Coach Mark Berson. After a regular season record of 11-7-1, the Gamecocks received an at-large bid to the 2002 NCAA tournament. This marked the 16th time in school history and third straight season that the Gamecocks have received a berth to the NCAA tournament.

“I am very proud of the grit and fight that this team showed throughout the season on their way to earning an NCAA bid,” stated Coach Berson. “We had a very young group with about half our team comprised of first year players. They got thrown into the fire.” The Gamecocks recorded their third best start in USC history after posting an eight-match unbeaten streak (7-0-1) before suffering their first loss. During that streak, Coach Berson earned his 350th career victory with a 2-1 win over North Carolina State. Berson is just three wins shy of his 350th career win as the Head Coach of the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks regular season schedule consisted of matches against eight teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament. Of those teams, South Carolina defeated Winthrop 5-1, Duke 3-0, and Florida International 2-1.

“We were involved in more close contests this year than I can remember in a long time,” commented Coach Berson. “In twenty matches we had one tie and 13 one goal games, in which we finished 7-6. Four of those were in overtime. That performance and the strength of the schedule we played was what earned this team a place in the tournament. For our seniors, it was their third NCAA tournament if four years, and I am very happy for them.”

Senior forward Jordan Quinn’s six goals and one assist led the team in points scored for the third consecutive year. Quinn finished his career at USC as the 6th all-time leader in points scored. Quinn garnered tournament MVP honors at the Duke/adidas Classic and the Gamecock Soccer Classic.

South Carolina had a balanced scoring attack all season. Ten different Gamecocks tallied goals this season, while 15 individuals recorded at least one assist.

Senior Goalkeeper Michael Bachmeyer started all 20 games between the posts for the Gamecocks. Bachmeyer finished the year with a .91 goals against average while compiling 5 shutouts.

The Gamecocks also had the opportunity to play in front of one of the largest crowds at Stone Stadium in over ten years. The Palmetto State rivalry match versus Clemson drew 4,858 fans, making it the 11th largest crowd to see a soccer game played at Eugene Stone III Stadium.

“The back half of the season was disappointing,” said Coach Berson. “We took a number of injuries and the accumulated fatigue of the schedule probably took a toll on us. However, this group kept pushing forward, and really gave us everything they had. We learned a lot, which we can build upon for next year. We are anxious to get started.”

The Gamecocks will look forward to a prosperous 2003 season as they return 18 players.