Nov. 18, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and College of Charleston are set to play in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament on Friday, Nov. 19, at Eugene E. Stone III Stadium on the USC campus. The two teams will take the field at 7 p.m. Since Friday’s match is an NCAA event, ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for youths and college students. For advance tickets, fans are welcome to contact the South Carolina ticket office by phone at (803) 777-4274 or 1-800-4SC-FANS.
An audio broadcast of the match will be available at South Carolina’s official athletic web site, www.USCSports.com. Richard Rowell and former Gamecock player Tim Glowienka will call the action. Fans can also find a link to live statistics through CBS sportsline on USC’s site.
About the Gamecocks
The Gamecocks enter Friday night’s match with a 12-6-1 record overall and will be making the school’s 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. USC, which is independent in men’s soccer, earned one of 25 at-large bids to the 48-team tournament.
Carolina has four wins over teams in the 2004 NCAA Tournament field, including a win over No. 1 overall seed Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Gamecocks also beat Duke, Portland and Florida International.
Freshman Sebastian Lindholm is South Carolina’s leading scorer with 16 points on a team-best six goals and four assists. Junior Eric Szeszycki ranks second on the squad with 14 points on five goals and four assists. Szesycki’s five goals have come on penalty kicks as he is a perfect 5-for-5 in those tries.
Sophomore Michael Sambursky and junior Ryan Deter are tied for third with 12 points apiece. Deter has four goals and four assists while Samburksy leads the team with six assists and has scored three goals. 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 1.25 goals-against average. The Homer Glen, Ill., product also sports an .802 save percentage to go with 97 saves.
The Gamecocks have out-scored opponents 32-24 this season. USC has also racked up 289 shots while holding opponents to just 259.
Scouting the Cougars
College of Charleston enters the NCAA Tournament with a 16-5-1 record and fresh off its Southern Conference Tournament Championship, which clinched an automatic bid into the NCAA field. The Cougars are making their fourth appearance in the tournament, but the first since 1996. Charleston reached the quarterifnals in 1994 and made repeat trips the next two seasons.
Ben Hollingsworth leads the Cougars offensively with 19 points in 2004. He has scored nine goals and has one assist. Troy Lesesne is second with 17 points (4g, 9a) and Tony Myers ranks third with 16 points (7g, 2a). Goalkeeper Keith Wiggans owns a 1.06 goals-against average to go with 83 saves. Wiggans and the Cougar defense also have nine shuouts to their credit.
College of Charleston has won five straight matches and 10 of its last 11. The Cougars have out-scored their opponents, 38-24 this season. Head coach Ralph Lundy is in his 18th season at College of Charleston.
South carolina-college of charleston all-time series South Carolina leads the all-time series with College of Charleston 15-3-3, including a 12-1-1 mark in Columbia. The last five meetings are dead even as both teams have two wins and the fifth meeting resulted in a tie.
Gamecocks’ NCAA Tournament History
After a one-year hiatus for the field, USC will play in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons and the 17th time overall. USC is the only independent team in this season’s field of 48 and earned one of 25 at-large bids.
The Gamecocks own a 15-16 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament, including a 10-9 mark in matches on their home turf at Stone Stadium. USC has suffered three straight losses at home in NCAA action and will be looking to reverse that trend of Friday night. All three of those losses have been by just one goal and two have come in overtime. The Gamecocks’ last NCAA victory came on Nov. 22, 1998, in the first round against Virginia Commonwealth. That match was played at Stone Stadium and the final score was 2-1.
South Carolina has competed in two Final Fours (College Cups), in both 1988 and 1993, and advanced to the NCAA title match in 1993.
Guzan a M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Semifinalist
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 12-6-1 record and five shutouts in 2004. Guzan has played 1,730 minutes in goal and owns a 1.25 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.
In 2003, Guzan enjoyed an outstanding rookie season with the Gamecocks. He was selected NSCAA All-South Region and named to College Soccer News’ All-Freshman team. Guzan finished with a 0.96 goals-against average (GAA) and posted eight shutouts. In addition, his .793 save percentage ranks fifth and his 0.96 GAA ranks third all-time for a freshman at USC. Over the summer, he competed with the Chicago Fire Reserves team in the Professional Development League. He led the PDF in goals-against average (0.388), shutouts (8), victories (13) and goals allowed (5) and was selected to the All-League team.
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
Multiple Gamecock players are working their way into the USC record books in 2004. Here’s a look at the names and numbers:
Sebastian Lindholm’s 16 points rank tied for 10th for a points scored by a freshman. Current sophomore Ayo Akinsete (2003) and Rob Smith (1991) also scored 16 points during their rookie seasons.
Brad Guzan has accumulated 97 saves this season, which ranks tied for fourth on South Carolina’s single-season saves list. Warren Lipka also had 97 saves during the 1985 campaign.
Lindholm’s four assists in 2004 are tied for eighth in the freshman records, along with five other players.
Five Future Conference USA Teams Make NCAA Tournament A total of five teams that will compete in Conference USA next season are in the 2004 NCAA Tournament field, mark that would tie for the second-most among conferences this season. In addition to South Carolina, No. 7-seed SMU, Florida International, Tulsa and Central Florida will play in the tournament. The Big Ten Conference landed six teams in this season’s field, while the ACC was second with five representatives.
A Balanced Attack South Carolina opponents have been hard-pressed to gear their game plans to stopping just one or two players this season. Six different Gamecocks have reached double-digit numbers in scoring with freshman Sebastian Lindholm setting the pace with 16 points this season. Junior Eric Szeszycki is second with 14 points, while junior Ryan Deter and sophomore Michael Sambursky are tied for third with 12 points apiece. Junior Josh Alcala has totaled 11 points and sophomore Ayo Akinsete has 10. Ten different Gamecock players have scored a goal and eight have recorded assists.
The Gamecocks are 7-2 at home, 4-3 on the road and 1-1-1 in neutral site matches this season.
USC is 6-0 this season when scoring three or more goals.
The Gamecocks have 5-5-0 record in night games and a 7-1-1 mark in day games.
Junior Eric Szeszycki, junior Josh Alcala, junior Greg Reece and sophomore Michael Sambursky are the only players to play in and start in all 19 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.
Four of Carolina’s six losses this season have come by way of a shutout.
The winner of the match between South Carolina and College of Charleston will advance to the play No. 8 seed North Carolina-Greensboro on the road in the second round. All NCAA second-matches are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Third round matches will be played Nov. 27 or 28 and quarterfinal matches are Dec. 3, 4 or 5. The NCAA College Cup will be played at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., Dec. 10 and 12.