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Oct. 8, 2004

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 10/17 South Carolina men’s soccer team will battle archrival Clemson on Sunday, Oct. 10, in Columbia at Stone Stadium. The match is set for a 2 p.m. kickoff and the first 250 fans to arrive will receive a free Beat Clemson t-shirt. In addition, kids 13-and-under who wear Garnet and Black to the match will be admitted free of charge. An autograph session with the Gamecocks players will be held following the match as well.

Fans can follow the match live through Gametracker or access an audio broadcast on South Carolina’s official athletic web site at Richard Rowell and former Gamecock stadout Tim Glowienka will call the action.

South Carolina comes into the match with Clemson sporting a 7-1-1 record after a pair of come-from-behind wins last week. Trailing 1-0 at the half, the Gamecocks earned a 4-1 road win at Davidson on Sept. 29, and the Gamecocks rallied back from a 2-0 halftime deficit on Oct. 3

South Carolina is ranked in all four of the national polls this week. USC is No. 10 in the Soccer America poll and ranks 17th in the adidas/NSCAA Coaches’ Poll. According to Soccer Times, the Gamecocks are 18th and College Soccer News’ ranks them at 19th.

After an impressive showing last week, junior defender Josh Alcala leads the Gamecocks in scoring with nine points on three goals and three assists. Sophomore forward Ayo Akinsete is the team’s leading goal scorer with four. Eric Szeszcyki, Sebastian Lindholm and Ryan Deter are in a three-way tie for third, all with seven points apiece.

Sophomore goalkeeper Brad Guzan has 47 saves and three shutouts to his credit. Guzan, a preseason All-America candidate, also has a 1.08 goals-against average and a save percentage of .825.

Overall, the Gamecocks have out-scored their opponents, 19-10, and have 137-120 shot advantage.

Clemson brings a 6-3-0 record into Sunday’s match with South Carolina. The Tigers split a pair of games over the weekend in their own Classic, defeating Virginia Tech, 1-0, and falling to Hofstra, 3-0. Clemson is receiving votes in both the NSCAA and Soccer Times polls.

The Tigers are led in scoring by Stephen Rhyne, who has totaled 17 points on seven goals and three assists in 2004. Justin Moore ranks second with seven points on two goals and three assists.

Phil Marfuggi has handled the majority of the goalkeeping duties, playing 711:11. Marfuggi has given up 11 goals and owns a 1.39 goals-against average. He also has 25 saves.

Clemson owns a 9-4-1 all-time record against South Carolina in Columbia. Trevor Adair is in his 10th season as Clemson’s head coach.

The Gamecocks proved their ability to come back from a deficit in a pair of wins last week. At Davidson on Sept. 29, South Carolina fell behind 1-0, but responded with four second-half goals to beat the Wildcats on their home field. On Oct. 3 at home, USC fell into a 2-0 hole against Gardner-Webb. The Gamecocks played a dominant second half and rallied to take a 3-2 victory. The Garnet and Black scored all three goals in the final 20 minutes of regulation, including two goals in the final three minutes. Josh Alcala converted the game-winner at the 88:57 mark. South Carolina has performed well in the second half this season, scoring 15 of their 19 goals. In addition, USC has allowed opponents to score just five goals in the second half.

Junior Josh Alcala was selected to both the Soccer America and College Soccer News’ National Teams of the Week for the period ending Oct. 3. Alcala, a defender, scored three goals to lead the USC to a pair of victories last week.

With USC trailing 2-0 at halftime to Gardner Webb, Alcala was pulled down in the box in the 72nd minute and the Gamecocks converted a penalty kick. He scored the game-tying goal at the 87:47 mark and then knocked home the game-winner 1:10 later at 88:57. The junior from Buda, Texas, also scored his first goal of the season on Sept. 29 in a 4-1 win at Davidson. Alcala leads the Gamecocks with nine points (3g, 3a) in 2004.

A native of Buda, Texas, Alcala is the second South Carolina player in as many weeks to garner national recognition. Last week, freshman midfielder J.D. Moon was named to Soccer America’s Team of the Week after he scored the game-winning goal at Wake Forest.

…South Carolina’s .833 winning percentage (7-1-1) puts it tied for ninth nationally in winning percentage. Also, sophomore Brad Guzan ranks 27th in the country in saves per game. Guzan, a preseason All-American, has collected 47 saves through nine matches, an average of 5.2 per match.

South Carolina’s scoring wealth is spread up and down the lineup nine matches into the season. Ten different players have cracked the scoring column in 2004, including nine who have tallied at least one goal. Six different Gamecocks have scored at least two goals, including Ayo Akinsete (4), Josh Alcala (3), Eric Szeszycki (2), Sebastian Lindholn (2), Ryan Deter (2) and Mike Sambursky (2). Alcala, Szeszycki, Lindholm and Deter all have three assists to their credit, which ranks as the most on the team.

South Carolina launched a season-high 34 shots in its last outing against Gardner-Webb, including 25 in the second half. On the flip side, the Gamecocks limited the Bulldogs to just six attempts, three in each half. Carolina goalkeeper Brad Guzan was forced to make just one save in the match, while the Gamecocks kept the pressure on Gardner-Webb `keeper Tyler Kettering, who had to make 11 saves.

• Head coach Mark Berson’s next victory will mark No. 375 for his career.
• Junior co-captain Eric Szeszycki has taken and converted both of USC’s penalty kicks this season.
• The Gamecocks have two wins over top 25 teams this season. On Sept. 10, USC defeated then-No, 16 Portland, 3-2, at home, and on Sept. 24, shut out then-No.13 Wake Forest, 1-0, on the road.
• South Carolina is 4-0 in home matches this season, 3-1 on the road and 0-0-1 on a neutral field.
• Sophomore defender Ryan Leeton returned to action in the Gamecocks’ win over Gardner-Webb on Oct. 3 after missing six matches with an injury. Leeton started the opening two matches before getting hurt. • USC has played just one overtime match in 2004. The Gamecocks tied Princeton on Sept. 19, 2-2.
• Carolina has scored at least one goal in all nine of its matches, and is averaging 2.06 goals per game.
• Of their 19 goals this season, the Gamecocks have scored four in the first half and 15 in the second half. Conversely, South Carolina has given up five goals in each half.
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