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Aug. 26, 2005

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Fans will have their first glimpse at the South Carolina men’s soccer team on when it takes on Coastal Carolina in an exhibition match on Saturday, Aug. 27, at Stone Stadium on the USC campus. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and admission to the match is free.

The Gamecocks returned to school on Aug. 12 to begin preparations for the upcoming season, including two-a-day practices up until the start of classes on Aug. 18. Following an exhibition scrimmage with Furman on Aug. 20 and Saturday’s exhibition against the Chanticleers, Carolina officially opens the 2005 season on Friday, Sept. 2, in a tilt with intra-state rival Clemson. The match is set for 7:30 p.m. at Riggs Field in Clemson. Carolina’s first home match is on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. against College of Charleston.

Head coach Mark Berson, who is beginning his 28th season at the helm of the Gamecock soccer program, returns nine of 11 starters and 14 lettermen from the 2004 team. USC compiled a 12-7-1 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 17th time in school history last season.

Carolina will play in a conference for the first time since 1994 this season. The Gamecocks have joined Conference USA as an affiliate member for men’s soccer. USC’s first league match of the season is on Oct. 2 at East Carolina.