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Oct. 29, 2004

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 25 University of South Carolina men’s soccer team returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 31, when the 13th-ranked Duke Blue Devils visit Columbia and Stone Stadium. The match will kick off at 2 p.m. and it’s Marble Slab Halloween Costume Day. Everyone who wears a Halloween Costume will be admitted free of charge and a costume contest will be held at halftime.

Fans can follow both matches live on the Gamecocks’ official athleitcs web site at Richard Rowell and Tim Glowienka will call all the action on a live audio broadcast and live statistics from the match will be available through Gametracker. TMTM

Sunday’s match presents an opportunity for South Carolina (9-5-1) to even its record at 1-1 for the week and regain its scoring punch. The Gamecocks dropped a tough 1-0 match to Furman at home on Wednesday as they failed to score for the fourth time in five matches. Including Sunday’s tilt with the Duke (13-3-0), USC has four matches remaining on its regular season slate.

Offensively, junior Eric Szeszycki leads a balanced scoring effort with 10 points (3g, 4a). Four players are tied for second. Sophomore forward Ayo Akinsete (4g, 1a), along with, Lindholm (3g, 3a), junior forward Ryan Deter (3g, 3a) and junior midfielder Josh Alcala (3g, 3 a) have all totaled nine points. Sophomore forward Michael Sambursky is next with eight points (2g, 4a) and he ties with Szeszycki for the most assists on the club.

Sophomore goalkeeper Brad Guzan sports a 1.18 goals-against average and has made 86 saves. Guzan, who has played every minute of the season in goal for USC, also has four shutouts.

The Gamecocks have out-shot and out-scored the opposition, 233-213 and 23-18, respectively.

Duke (13-3-0) appears in all four national polls this week, with its highest ranking at No. 13 in the Soccer America poll. The Blue Devils began the season with an 11-0-0 record and rose to a No. 1 ranking before losing three of their last five matches. Playing two men down at the end of the match, Duke fell to Virginia, 3-2, in overtime in its last outing on Oct. 24.

Danny Kramer leads the Blue Devils in scoring with 20 points on seven goals and six assists. Spencer Wadsworth has scored 16 points on five goals and six assists. The duo paces a corps of nine players who have cracker double digits in points scored in 2004. As a team, Duke has totaled 44 goals while giving up just 10 in 16 matches.

Duke has an experienced goalkeeper in senior, three-year starter Justin Trowbridge. Trowbridge has started all 14 matches he has played in this season and sports a 0.60 goals-against average to go with 43 saves and six shutouts.

South Carolina and Duke have two common opponents at this point in the season. Both teams have 1-0 wins over Clemson. Against North Carolina, the Gamecocks fell, 2-0, in Chapel Hill. The Blue Devils notched a 3-2 victory over their archrival at home in Durham. The Gamecocks also defeated then-No. 13 Wake Forest, 1-0, n the road for a 2-1 record against the ACC this year. The Blue Devils wrap up their regular season against the Demon Deacons on Nov. 5.

Duke owns a slight advantage in the all-time series with South Carolina, boasting an 8-7-2 record. In Columbia, the Blue Devils are 5-2-1. Duke and South Carolina are meeting for the first time since the 2000 season, a match that resulted in a 1-0 Blue Devil victory.