Nov. 13, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina will host 21st-ranked Florida International in its final regular season match on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Stone Stadium. Sunday is also Recreation Day at Stone Stadium. Kids can wear their youth soccer jersey and get into the match for free.
South Carolina (11-6-1) is looking to end the regular season on a high note against future Conference-USA opponent Florida International. The Gamecocks will then wait to see if they earn an at-large bid to the 2004 NCAA Tournament. The 48-team bracket will be unveiled on Monday, Nov. 15, on ESPNews at approximately 4:30 p.m. EST.
Fans can also follow the match live on South Carolina’s official athletic web site, www.USCsports.com. Former Gamecock standout Tim Glowienka will call all the action in a live audio broadcast and live statistics will be available on via Gametracker. Click on the Live Audio link on the right-hand side of the men’s soccer home page to access the broadcast. Go to the men’s soccer schedule page and click on the Florida International game to access Gametracker.
About South Carolina
The Gamecocks are 11-6-1 and looking to secure win No. 12 on Sunday. Twelve victories would be the most for a USC team since the 2001 club finished at 12-5-2.
Freshman Sebastian Lindholm is South Carolina’s leading scorer with 14 points on a team-best five goals and four assists. Junior Eric Szeszycki ranks second on the squad with 12 points on 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, has an 11-5-0 record overall. The Golden Panthers topped Hartwick, 3-1, at home on Friday. With that win, Florida International has won five straight entering Sunday’s match with Carolina.
Much like the Gamecocks, the Golden Panthers feature a balanced scoring attack. Carron Williams leads the way with 19 points on eight goals and three assists. Fernando Plentz is next with 13 points on six goals and one assist while David Hope (5g, 2a) is third with 12 points.
Shawn Crowe has handled the majority of the goalkeeping duties for FIU this season. Crowe holds a 1.47 goals-against average and has 46 saves. His record is 9-5-0 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.
Sunday’s match with Florida International presents another opportunity for Carolina to add to its list of quality wins. The Gamecocks’ resume includes four victories over teams that appear in this week’s national polls. Here’s a look at some of the highlights:
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
USC-FIU in 2003
The Gamecocks and Golden Panthers also played each other in the regular season finale in 2003 in Miami. South Carolina defeated Florida International, 1-0, on a goal by Ryan Deter in the 78th minute of the match.
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.