Nov. 18, 2005
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team fell to Wake Forest, 2-0, on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Spry Stadium. The Gamecocks played a man down for the final 37 minutes of the contest and the Demon Deacons scored both of their goals during that stretch to advance to the second round. South Carolina ends its season at 12-7-2, while Wake improved to 12-7-2.
“Our team accomplished a lot this year,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “I’m really proud of what they did down the stretch. I was proud tonight how they mustered the energy here on the road to really take the game to Wake Forest in the early going. We were just a little bit unlucky not to get something out of it. That could have changed the game, but to Wake Forest’s credit they were able to weather the storm we created and capitalize. The (red card) call clearly changed the game, but that’s the way the game goes sometimes”
The Gamecocks came out firing, forcing Wake goalkeeper Brian Edwards to make a two of his three first-half saves in the opening five minutes. Ryan Deter took a shot inside the 18-yard box, and a minute later, Ayo Akinsete beat the Demon Deacon defense to go one-on-one with Edwards, who cut down the chance.
The action continued back and forth throughout the half, with both teams mounting dangerous scoring opportunities. In the 31st minute, Wake’s Lyle Adams fired a shot from near the top of the box of from left to right that was saved off the line by Makan Hislop. The Demon Deacons’ follow-up attempt from Jamie Franks sailed high.
Carolina freshman goalkeeper Mike Gutavson came up with a big save with 3:22 remaining in the half. Wells Thompson booted a volley shot from 15 yards out on the left side, but Gustavson reacted quickly, knocking down the ball for the save, his third of the half.
Neither team was able to crack the scoring column in the opening 45 minutes. Wake Forest held the shot advantage, 11-8 while South Carolina took two corner kicks to the Deacons’ one.
With 37:31 to play in the match, Hislop was tagged with a red card following a tackle on Moose, forcing the Gamecocks to play with 10 men the rest of the way.
“It was a call that could have gone either way,” Berson said of the caution. “It was certainly a cautionable offense. If you’re in my shoes you argue that it was a yellow, but if you’re on the other side you argue it was a red. It was clearly a call that changed the game. Wake Forest is too good to play a man down. There were other opportunities that we should have put away and didn’t.”
Wake Forest broke the scoreless tie at the 68:32 mark. Sam Cronin played the ball from the right side to a waiting Solle inside the box. Solle drove the ball into right side of the net to make it, 1-0. The goal was his first of the season.
Carolina continued to battle and threatened to tie in the 74th minute. Ralph Pace controlled the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and played it wide right of the goal to Deter. Deter crossed the ball to Akinsete. Akinsete’s shot sailed wide right.
Wake exploited its one-man advantage with 1:49 left to play as Thompson scored on a breakaway. Solle was credited with an assist on the goal.
Gustavson finished with five saves for the Gamecocks while Edward had four stops for Wake.
The Demon Deacons will play at No. 10-seed Old Dominion on Tuesday, Nov. 22, in the NCAA second round.