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Nov. 10, 2004

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s soccer team plays host to No. 21 Florida International on Sunday, Nov. 14, in its regular season finale. The Gamecocks and Golden Panthers kick off at 1 p.m. and it’s Recreation Day at Stone Stadium. Wear your youth soccer jersey and get into the match for free.

Fans can also follow the match live on South Carolina’s official athletic web site, Former Gamecock standout Tim Glowienka will call all the action in a live audio broadcast and live statistics will be available on via Gametracker.

South Carolina (11-6-1) is looking to end the regular season on a high note against Florida International. The Gamecocks will then wait to see if they earn a bid to the 2004 NCAA Tournament. The bracket will be unveiled on Monday, Nov. 15, on ESPNews at approximately 4:30 p.m. EST.

About the Gamecocks
Last weekend, USC split a pair of games at College of Charleston’s Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic. The Gamecocks dropped a heartbreaker on Friday, Nov. 5. After going down two goals, South Carolina rallied back to tie the match, 2-2, but Coastal Carolina scored with 49 seconds left to play in regulation to secure a 3-2 win. On Sunday, Nov. 7, the Gamecocks fell behind 2-0 again, and again came back to tie the match 2-2. With just under three minutes left to play in regulation, Eric Szeszycki converted a penalty kick attempt to lift the Gamecocks to the 3-2 victory.

Freshman Sebastian Lindholm is South Carolina’s leading scorer with 15 points on a team-best five goals and four assists. Junior Eric Szeszycki ranks second on the squad with 12 points on a four goals and four assists. Szesycki’s four goals have come on penalty kicks as he is a perfect 4-for-4 in those tries.

Sophomore Michael Sambursky and junior Josh Alcala are tied for third with 11 points apiece. Both players have scored three goals and lead the team with five assists.

In goal, M.A.C. Hermann Award candidate Brad Guzan has played every minute of the season. Guzan has posted five shutouts and owns a 1.26 goals-against average. The Homer Glen, Ill, product also sports an .803 save percentage to go with 94 saves. Guzan’s average of 5.2 saves per match ranks 22nd nationally.

Scouting Florida International
FIU, which is ranked No. 21 in the latest Soccer America poll, enters the week with a 10-5-0 record overall. The Golden Panthers will play Hartwick at home on Friday, Nov. 12, before making the trip to Columbia. Florida International has won four straight matches going into the match with Hartwick, including a pair of shutout victories over Adelphi (2-0 on Nov. 5) and Central Florida (3-0 on Nov. 7) last weekend.

Much like the Gamecocks, the Golden Panthers feature a balanced scoring attack. Carron Williams leads the way with 15 points on six goals and three assists. Fernando Plentz is next with 13 points on six goals and one assist while David Hope (5g, 1a) and Lucas Scudeler (3g, 5a) are tied for third 11 points.

Shawn Crowe has handled the majority of the goalkeeping duties for FIU this season. Crowe holds a 1.38 goals-against average and has 43 saves. His record is 8-5-0 and three of those wins have come via shutout.

As a team, the Golden Panthers have out-scored their opposition, 34-19.

South Carolina-Florida International All-Time Series
USC owns a 4-0-1 lead in the all-time series with FIU. The Gamecocks and Golden Panthers tied in their first-ever meeting in 1987 in Columbia, but South Carolina has claimed victory in each of the last four meetings, including a 1-0 win in Miami in 2003. The Gamecocks are 2-0-1 against FIU in Columbia.

Quality Wins
South Carolina has picked up several quality wins in 2004, including four victories over teams that appear in this week’s national polls. Here’s a look at the highlights:

o USC defeated then No. 16 Portland in the adidas/Gamecock Classic on Sept. 10, 3-2. The Pilots (10-6-2) appear in the national polls this week, ranked No. 23 by Soccer America.
o On Sept. 24, the Gamecocks went on the road to defeat then No. 13 Wake Forest, 1-0. The Demon Deacons, the ACC regular season champs, are 12-4-1 are ranked as high as No. 8 in the current national polls.
o South Carolina also defeated archrival Clemson, 1-0, at home on Oct. 10. The Tigers are 8-8-1 and seeded seventh the ACC Tournament.
o The Gamecocks earned a 3-1 road win at UNC-Wilmington on Oct. 23. The Seahawks hold down the No. 25 spot in the national rankings this week after a 3-2 upset over top-ranked and previously unbeaten North Carolina-Greensboro last week. The Seahawks are 12-6-2.
o USC shut out then-No. 13 Duke in Columbia on Oct. 31, 1-0. The Blue Devils are 14-4-0 and rank as high as No. 14 (Soccer America) in the current polls. That win also gave the Gamecocks a 3-1 record against Atlantic Coast Conference teams in 2004.

Szeszycki, Lindholm Earn All-Tournament Honors
Eric Szeszycki and Sebastian Lindholm were selected to the All-Tournament team at the Aaron Oltisky Memorial Classic over the weekend. Lindholm scored on a free kick in Friday’s match against Coastal Carolina and had a corner kick assist on Makan Hislop’s goal on Sunday against Alabama A&M. Szeszycki netted the game-winner on a penalty kick against Alabama A&M. The goal made him 4-for-4 on penalty kick attempts this season.

Guzan Selected a Semifinalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy
South Carolina sophomore Brad Guzan is one of 15 semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, which honors college soccer’s national player of the year, the National Soccer Coaches’ Association of American announced recently. Guzan, who hails from Homer Glen, Ill., is the only goalkeeper and one of only two underclassmen named to the list.

Since his arrival at USC for the 2003 season, Guzan has started every match at goalkeeper. A team captain in this season, he has helped guide the Gamecocks to an 11-6-1 record and five shutouts in 2004. Guzan has played 1,640 minutes in goal and owns a 1.26 goals-against average to go with 94 saves this season. He also has a .803 save percentage and ranks in the top 20 nationally in saves per match.

Guzan joins a long line of excellent goalkeepers who have played at South Carolina under Berson, who was a collegiate goalkeeper himself. In 1985, Warren Lipka was chosen as the National Goalkeeper of the Year and Charles Arndt achieved the same feat in 1988. Arndt (1988) and Henry Ring (1998 and 2000) garnered All-America honors for the Gamecocks.

The 15 candidates for the M.A.C. Hermann Award, college soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy, were selected by a nominating committee of Division I college coaches. The winner will be determined in voting by NSCAA Division I member coaches. Three men’s and three women’s finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy will be announced at the 2004 Men’s College Cup in December. The finalists will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 7, 2005, for the announcement of the winner at a press conference. Both winners will be presented with the prestigious crystal soccer ball trophy at a banquet later that evening.

Movin’ On Up
o Multiple Gamecock players are working their way into the USC record books in 2004. Here’s a look at the names and numbers:

o Sebastian Lindholm’s 14 points rank just outside of the top 10 for a points scored by a freshman. Current sophomore Ayo Akinsete (2003) and Rob Smith (1991) both scored 16 points during their rookie seasons.

o Brad Guzan has accumulated 94 saves this season, which ranks just outside of the top 5 in South Carolina’s single season records. David Turner collected 95 saves in 1990 and ranks fifth.

o Lindholm’s four assists in 2004 are tied for eighth in the freshman records, along with five other players.

South Carolina and Florida International Both To Join C-USA
USC and FIU are both set to join Conference-USA as affiliate members in men’s soccer next season. The Gamecocks and Golden Panthers, along with Kentucky, are set to join current members East Carolina, UAB and Memphis, as well as incoming members Marshall, SMU, Tulsa and Central Florida to form the 10-team league next season. The teams will play a nine-game, round-robin schedule.

In addition, six of the 10 teams will advance to a conference tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Second-half Surge
The Gamecocks have been primarily a second-half team this season. In addition to scoring 21 of its 29 goals in the second half , USC has out-scored its opponents 21-10 in the final 45 minutes. On the other hand, the Gamecocks have been out-scored in the first half 13-8.

Gamecocks Secure Winning Record
In 2004, South Carolina has secured a winning season for the 25th time in the program’s 27 seasons. With one regular season match remaining and the possibility of competing in the NCAA Tournament, the Gamecocks are 11-6-1 and looking to build on that record.

Tracking the South Region
The Gamecocks are tied for No. 7 in this week’s NSCAA South Region Poll.

1 University of North Carolina, Greensboro 17-1-1
2 Wake Forest University 12-4-1
3 College of Charleston (S.C.) 13-5-1
4 University of Alabama at Birmingham 11-6-0
5 Duke University 14-4-0
6 Florida International University 10-5-0
7 University of South Carolina 11-6-1
7 University of North Carolina 9-7-2
9 University of South Florida 10-4-2
10 University of North Carolina, Charlotte 10-6-1

Corner Kicks
o Sophomore defender Makan Hislop tallied his first goal of the season on Sunday in South Carolina’s win over Alabama A&M. The score was the second of Hislop’s career.
o The Gamecocks are 6-2 at home, 4-3 on the road and 1-1-1 in neutral site matches this season.
o USC is 5-0 this season when scoring three or more goals.
o Junior Eric Szeszycki, junior Greg Reece, junior Josh Alcala and sophomore Michael Sambursky are the only players to play in and start in all 18 of the Gamecocks’ matches this season. Freshmen Sebastian Lindholm and J.D. Moon are the only other USC players to appear in all 18 matches.