MT.PLEASANT, S.C. — The 25th-ranked South Carolina men’s soccer team gave up a goal in the final minute of regulation and fell to Coastal Carolina, 3-2, on Friday evening in the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. The Gamecocks’ record slipped to 10-6-1 while the Chanticleers improved to 11-6-1 on the season.
“We showed great character to fight back the way we did against a very dangerous Coastal Carolina team.” USC coach Mark Berson said. “We had taken the initiative and were knocking on the door with just over minute left, but they caught us on the counter and things turned that quickly. I’m disappointed for our players because they showed great heart tonight. It was a devastating blow, but we’ve got to regroup and get ready to play on Sunday.”
South Carolina had rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the match before Boyzzz Khumalo scored the game-winning goal with 49 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Chanticleers put tremendous pressure on the Gamecocks as they took a commanding 2-0 lead in the first half. Patrick Robertson scored the game’s first goal on an assist from Boyzzz Khumalo at 10:56. Khumalo earned his second assist of the match when Jordie Hughes, who turned in a hat trick in the Chanticleers’ last outing, scored at 38:36.
But the Gamecocks fought back and responded with their first goal just three minutes later. Sophomore Michael Sambursky sent corner kick to the back side and junior defender Greg Reece put away his third goal of the season at 41:47, cutting Coastal Carolina’s lead to 2-1.
The Gamecocks picked up their play to start the second half and continued their climb back. In the 72nd minute, South Carolina knotted the game at two on a goal by freshman Sebastian Lindholm. Junior Eric Szeszycki was brought down just outside the 18-yard box, prompting a free kick for the Gamecocks. Lindholm stepped up for the attempt and drove his team-leading fifth goal of the season into the back of the net.
It looked as if USC would overtake the Chanticleers with one minute remaining as they created good chances off a pair corner kicks. Following a corner kick by Lindholm, sophomore defender Makan Hislop had a shot saved off the line by Coastal goalkeeper Jeremy Wolfgang. But eleven seconds later Coastal Carolina capitalized on a counter attack and Khumalo rifled a shot into the back of the net from more than 20-yards out.
South Carolina out-shot Coastal, 11-9, for the match, including a 6-3 margin in the second half. Sophomore goalkeeper Brad Guzan stopped two shots, while USC forced Wolfgang to make six saves for the Chanticleers.
South Carolina will look to bounce back on Sunday against Alabama A&M in its final match of the Classic. First kick is set for 2:30 p.m. at Patriot’s Point in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Fans can follow live stats on College of Charleston’s web site at www.CofCsports.com.