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Aug. 27, 2005

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina earned a 2-1 victory over Coastal Carolina in men’s soccer exhibition action on Saturday night at Stone Stadium in Columbia.

“I thought it was a good match, start to finish,” Gamecock coach Mark Berson said. “We were a little unlucky to be behind, but that’s the way this game is sometimes. We showed strength of character and mental toughness to come back in the second half. The guys never got down. I thought it was a solid performance. Coastal is a good team. They’re well organized and very talented.”

USC rallied from a 1-0 deficit at halftime on goals from Ayo Akinsete and Ramon Paracat in the win after Coastal Carolina scored the first goal of the match in the 12th minute.

The Gamecocks picked up their play in the second half and collected the equalizer in the 58th minute. Junior Rob Charest played the ball to Akinsete on the left side of the field, and Akinsete booted it past the Chanticleer goalkeeper and into the bottom right corner of the net.

USC pulled ahead seven minutes later when Paracat scored the game-winner from more than 40-yards out, curving the ball into the left side of the net. Junior Ryan Leeton earned an assist on the play.

Freshman Mike Gustavson started the match in goal. He finished with three saves.

The Gamecocks officially kick off the 2005 season on Friday, Sept. 2, at Clemson. Match time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Riggs Field on the CU campus.

South Carolina Starters: Ayo Akinsete, Josh Alcala, Rob Charest, Makan Hislop, Greg Reece, Ryan Leeton, Ramon Paracat, Ralph Pace, Kyle Franklin, Eric Szeszycki, Mike Gustavson (GK).

Substitutions: J.D. Moon, Mike Sambursky, David Smith

Shots: SC 15, CC 5
Corner Kicks: SC 4, CC 1
Saves: CC 5, SC 3
Offsides: SC 2, CC 2
Fouls: CC 15, SC 8