Nov. 14, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team beat No. 21 Florida International, 3-1, in its regular season finale on Sunday at Stone Stadium in Columbia. With the win, the Gamecocks are 12-6-1 while the Golden Panthers had their five-match win streak snapped and fell to 11-6-0.
“Our team has played so well in big games and in must-win situations,” Carolina coach Mark Berson said. “I’m proud of our effort. This was a convincing win over an NCAA Tournament team and one of the top teams in the South Region. We are a young team that has gained experience as the season has come along. We had a plan coming in and the boys worked hard on it in practice all week.”
The Gamecocks picked up their fourth victory of the season over a ranked team. In addition to today’s win over FIU, USC also defeated Portland and Duke at home and went on the road to knock off Wake Forest this season.
South Carolina didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard. With just 5:34 gone off the clock, freshman forward Sebastian Lindholm netted his sixth goal of the season on an assist from junior forward Ryan Deter. The Gamecocks pushed the ball ahead and Deter dribbled toward the left post before dishing it off to Lindholm. Lindholm beat his defender and knocked the ball into the lower left corner. The assist was No. four for Deter this season.
In the second half, Deter put the Gamecocks on top 2-0 with a goal of his own. Freshman Jose Ramos played the ball to sophomore forward Michael Samburksy. Samburksy dribbled through the FIU defense and set Deter up nicely in the middle of the box, 10 yards from the goal. Deter punched the ball in for his fourth goal of the year at 49:25.
“Ryan Deter has played so well all year,” Berson said of the Raleigh, N.C. native. “He has such great fighting power and that’s what creates a lot of opportunities. He will got after a ball that might be a half chance and make something great happen.”
South Carolina pushed its lead to 3-0 in the 57th minute on a penalty kick by junior midfielder Eric Szeszycki. South Carolina was awarded the PK after FIU goalkeeper Shawn Crow fouled Deter on a breakaway in the box. After making his attempt today, Szeszycki is a perfect 5-for-5 on penalty kick attempts this season. All five of the captain’s goals have come on PKs in 2004.
Florida International scored its goal in the 71st minute. The Golden Panthers pushed the ball into the 18-yard box and Bobby Boswell played the ball between the Gamecock defense to Fernando Plentz, who hit the back of the net to make it 3-1.
“FIU is one of the best attacking teams anywhere,” Berson said. “The goal they scored was well-crafted. I was glad that we were able to shut the down as well as we did.”
Six of South Carolina’s eight shots in the match were on goal. Crowe collected three saves for FIU and M.A.C Hermann Trophy semifinalist Brad Guzan also stopped three shots for the Gamecocks. Florida International held the advantage in total shots, 12-8, but USC kept the pressure on with six shots on goal to just four for FIU.
Carolina remained unbeaten against Florida International. USC is now 5-0-1. The two teams will meet in league action next season as both schools have accepted invitations to become affiliate members of Conference USA in men’s soccer.
The Gamecocks will wait to see if they are awarded an at-large bid into the 48-team NCAA Tournament field. The bracket will be announced at approximately 4:30 p.m. Monday on ESPNews. First round matches begin at campus sites on Friday, Nov. 19.