Aug. 31, 2006
No. 24 South Carolina (1-1-0, 0-0-0 C-USA)
vs. College of William & Mary (1-2-0, 0-0-0 CAA)
Saturday, Sept. 2 â€¢ 7 p.m. â€¢ Albert-Daly Field â€¢ Williamsburg, Va.
GAMECOCKS SET TO CHALLENGE WILLIAM AND MARY
The No. 24 South Carolina men’s soccer team is on the road for its second straight game Saturday, Sept. 2, at William & Mary. Saturday’s contest is set for 7 p.m. at Albert-Daly Field in Williamsburg, Va.
A live audio broadcast of the game will be available on William & Mary’s web site at www. TribeAthletics.com. Visit USCsports.com for a direct link.
â€¢ South Carolina and William and Mary will meet for the fourth time on the soccer pitch. The Gamecocks own a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series and have out-scored The Tribe, 10-5.
â€¢ Saturday’s match marks the first between the two teams since the 2004 season. The Gamecocks defeated The Tribe, 2-1, in Columbia.
â€¢ South Carolina opened the campaign ranked No. 24 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Poll, despite not being ranked in the final 2005 poll.
â€¢ Senior F/MF Mike Sambursky paced the Gamecocks with 24 points (8 g, 8 a) in 2005. Senior Ayo Akinsete was the Carolina’s third-leading scorer with 16 points (7 g, 2 a).
â€¢ Sophomore GK Mike Gustavson returns after playing every minute of last season between the pipes. Gustavson finished with a 1.19 goals-against average and a USC freshman record 88 saves.
â€¢ William and Mary returns its top three scorers from last season in Jarrett Thomas (7 g, 2 a), Brock Jones (5 g, 2 a) and Andrew Hoxie (5 g, 1 a).
â€¢ Goalkeepers Kris Rake and Brennan Wergely are back after splitting time in net last season. Rake played in 12 matches and finished the season with a 1.56 GAA. Wergley started six times and registered a 1.20 GAA.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina brings a 1-1-0 record into Saturday’s match with The Tribe. On Monday, the Gamecocks defeated Wofford, 2-0, in their first road contest of the season. Sophomore Spencer Lewis and senior Ayo Akinsete scored goals in the victory.
Carolina has out-shot its opponents, 30-23. Sophomore David Smith leads the team with four points on two goals, both of which were scored in the season opener against No. 5 Clemson. In addition to Lewis and Akinsete, senior Rob Charest has also scored a goal for the Gamecocks. Senior Mike Sambursky has a pair of assists.
The Gamecocks are coming off a 12-7-2 season in which they won the Conference USA Tournament Championship and made the NCAA Tournament for the 18th time in school history. Eight starters and 16 letterwinners return this season, and head coach Mark Berson welcomes nine freshmen to Columbia.
South Carolina’s 2006 roster includes two of its top three scorers from the 2005 season and a total of eight starters, including its goalkeeper. Four all-Conference USA players are back.
Senior forward/midfielder Mike Sambursky, a first-team all-Conference USA selection last season, led the Gamecocks with 24 points on eight goals and eight assists. Senior forward Ayo Akinsete, a three-year starter, was Carolina’s third-leading scorer with 16 points on seven goals and two assists. Senior midfielder Ralph Pace and senior defender Ryan Leeton started all 21 matches last season. Both players earned third-team all-Conference honors. Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Gustavson, the 2005 C-USA Freshman of the Year, played every minute of last season between the pipes and registered a 1.19 goals-against average to go with four shutouts.
Senior back Makan Hislop and senior midfielder Rob Charest, both starters in 2005, are back as well.
SCOUTING THE TRIBE
William and Mary, a member of the Colonial Athletic Conference owns a 1-2-0 record coming into Saturday’s match. The Tribe opened the season with losses to No. 1 (Soccer America) North Carolina, 2-0, and No. 16 Wake Forest, 1-0, last weekend, but bounced back to beat Stony Brook, 2-0, on Wednesday. Andrew Hoxie and Pat Scherder have both scored goals while Doug Ernst has two assists for third-year head coach Chris Norris’ team.
Sophomore David Smith produced an impressive start to his sophomore season. Smith scored two goals in Carolina’s season opener against No. 5 Clemson (Aug. 25). The goals represented the first points of his career. He played in 13 matches, making two starts, as a true freshmen in 2005, but has started both contests in the midfield this seaon and currently leads the Gamecocks in scoring with four points.
THE 400 CLUB
South Carolina head coach Mark Berson is closing in on career win No. 400. Berson entered the 2006 campaign with 391 career victories in 29 seasons as a collegiate coach, including 28 years at South Carolina. He also ranked fifth on the career wins list among active Division I coaches and 21st all-time. Entering the season his .708 winning percentage is 11th among active D-1 coaches. Berson’s record at Carolina is now 381-144-45. His career mark stands at 392-149-45, including one season at The Citadel.
Five true freshman have seen action in Carolina’s first two games. Jeff Scannella has started both contests and Mark Wiltse started the season opener before an ankle injury kept him on the bench Monday. Schuyler Reardon and Cory Lewis have seen action in both contests while Paddy Flynn played in the match at Wofford.
PACKING THEM IN
A total of 5,009 fans were on hand to witness the Gamecocks’ season opener against Clemson (Aug. 25). The crowd was the 10th-largest in school history, overtaking a crowd of 4,953 for a match against Indiana on Oct. 28, 1990. Six of Carolina’s top-10 attendance figures have come against its archrivals Tigers.
Seniors Mike Sambursky and Ryan Leeton, who were both All-Conference USA players a year ago, will serve as team captains this season.