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Sept. 15, 2006

No. 10 South Carolina (5-1-0) vs. Davidson (4-3-0)
Sunday, Sept. 17 | 2 p.m. | Stone Stadium | Columbia, S.C.

Davidson Game Notes
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The South Carolina men’s soccer team looks for its sixth straight win on Sunday, Sept. 17, when it hosts Davidson at Stone Stadium. Sunday’s contest is part of a Carolina Soccer doubleheader. The Gamecock women face Jacksonville State at Noon and the men’s match will immediately follow at approximately 2 p.m. Children wearing a youth soccer jersey to the match will be admitted for $1.

Fans can follow all matches live through Gametracker on South Carolina’s official athletics web site, A live audio broadcast for is also available on the site. Matt Younginer will call all the action.

South Carolina owns a 5-1-0 record, a five-match streak and a top-10 national ranking. USC won three games at home last week, beginning with a 3-2 victory over Centenary on Tuesday. On Friday, Carolina opened the adidas-Gamecock Classic with a 1-0 triumph over Temple. The Gamecocks closed out the Classic with a 2-0 victory over Alabama A&M.

Senior Mike Sambursky, the reigning Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week, leads the Gamecockcs with 12 points on three goals and six assists. Senior Rob Charest (2 g, 2 a) and sophomore David Smith (2 g, 2 a) have both scored six points for the Gamecocks, tying for second on the roster. The South Carolina defense has collected four shutouts and sophomore goalkeeper Mike Gustavson owns a 1.00 goals-against average to go with 14 saves.

South Carolina was the biggest mover in this week’s National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America Top 25 Poll. Carolina jumped 11 spots up to No. 10, its highest ranking since Oct. 12, 2004, when the Gamecocks were ranked No. 7.

The Gamecocks are one of four Conference USA teams that appear in this week’s NSCAA Poll. SMU took over the No. 1 spot this week. Kentucky is tied for No. 14 and Memphis is tied for No. 25.


• South Carolina (5-1-0) brings a five-match win streak into Sunday’s meeting with Davidson. The Wildcats (4-3-0) have won their last four contests.

• Dating back to last season, the Gamecocks are 17-3-2 in their last 22 matches.

• South Carolina and Davidson play for the 24th time on the soccer field on Sunday. The series dates back to 1981. Carolina owns a 16-6-1 advantage in the all-time series, including a 9-2-0 mark at home.

• The Gamecocks won the last match between the two teams, 4-1, on Sept. 29, 2004, at Davidson. Trailing 1-0 at the half, South Carolina scored four second-half goals, including one by Mike Sambursky, to earn the victory.

• The Gamecocks No. 10 ranking in this week’s NSCAA Poll is the highest since Oct. 12, 2004. Carolina was No. 7 that week in the NSCAA Poll.

•South Carolina freshman Cory Lewis and Davidson freshman Petri Lindberg both attended Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, Ga.

Senior Mike Sambursky is tied for first nationally with six assists in six matches. The Katy, Texas, native is one of six players from around the country who are averaging one assist per match.

Last week, Sambursky moved into South Carolina’s career top 10. He has recorded 20 assists, which is tied for eighth all-time at Carolina.

After a slow offensive start in 2005, Carolina’s goal production through six matches this season is drastically better. Seven different players have scored a total of 12 goals this. A year ago, the Gamecocks were able to muster just three goals in their first six contests.

Mike Sambursky was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week and a member of College Soccer News’ National Team of the Week. Sambursky scored eight points as the Gamecocks finished 3-0-0 last week and extended their win streak to five games. In a 3-2 win over Centenary, Sambursky scored the first goal and assisted on the other two. He also assisted on the game-winning goal in Friday’s 1-0 shutout of Temple, then scored the game-winner in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Alabama A&M to earn MVP honors of the adidas-Gamecock Classic. Sambursky, a team co-captain, leads South Carolina in scoring with 12 points on three goals and six assists. He now has 20 career assists, which puts him in a tie for eighth all-time at USC.

Senior Ryan Leeton (Midland, Texas) has been selected to Top Drawer Soccer’s ( National Team of the Week. Leeton, a team co-captain, was honored for his play last week in three Gamecock wins. In the adidas-Gamecock Classic, South Carolina did not give up a goal, finishing with shutouts against Temple and Alabama A&M. The defense limited the opposition to just two shots on goal in the two games. A third-team all-Conference USA selection a year ago, Leeton is a three-year starter on the South Carolina back line. He was also recognized by Top Drawer Soccer on Oct. 10, 2005.

South Carolina is tied for 10th nationally in shutout percentage after allowing no goals in four of six games. The Gamecocks have shut out four of five opponents during the current five-game win streak.

South Carolina head coach Mark Berson is closing in on career win No. 400. With five victories this season, Berson’s career total stands at 396.

The Carolina head coach 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 382-144-45. His career mark stands at 396-149-45, including one season at The Citadel.

Davidson comes to South Carolina with a four-match win streak and a 4-3-0 record. The Wildcats lost their first three games of the season to current No. 3 Virginia (NSCAA), 1-0, No. 12 Akron (Soccer America), 2-0, and Elon, 2-1. Davidson has bounced back to post a 3-0 win over Loyola-Chicago, a 2-1 victory over James Madison, a 4-1 win vs. Radford and an impressive 2-1 victory at Coastal Carolina on Wednesday night. Like South Carolina, seven different players have scored goals for Davidson, led by Tom Lavan who has three goals. Marco Antunez is second on the team with five points on two goals and one assist and Robby Hoak is thrid with four points on one goal and two assists. Ben Ashton is the Wildcats’ starting goalkeeper. Ashton owns a 1.28 goals-against average in 562:54. He has made 17 saves and secured one shutout. Head coach Matt Spear is in his sixth season as the head coach at Davidson.

Top Drawer Soccer releases a weekly projection of the 48-team draw for the 2006 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament, and South Carolina is listed as the No. 13 team this week. The Gamecocks are predicted to earn an at-large bid out of Conference USA and with a top 16-seed would receive a first-round bye.

South Carolina went 2-0 and shared the adidas-Gamecock Classic title with Winthrop. Since the Gamecoccks and Eagles did not meet head-to-head, they shared the championship based on goals scored, goals against and goal differential. The Gamecocks defeated Temple, 1-0, in their first match, thanks to a late goal from freshman Jeff Scannella. In Sunday’s finale against Alabama A&M, Carolina got goals from Mike Sambursky and Daniel Upchurch. It marked the 14th time South Carolina has won its own Classic.

Seniors Mike Sambursky, Rob Charest and Makan Hislop and freshman Jeff Scannella, who scored the game-winning goal in Friday’s match against Temple, were named to the all-tournament team. Sambursky was also selected the Offensive MVP of the Classic.

• The current five-match win streak is the longest for Carolina since opening the 2003 season with seven consecutive victories.
• In 2005, the Gamecocks had two four-game win streaks (Sept. 18 to Oct. 2 and Oct. 28 to Nov. 6).
• South Carolina also had a pair of four-game win streaks in 2004 (Sept. 1 to Sept. 12 and Sept. 24 to Oct. 10).

Junior Daniel Upchurch scored his first career goal in the Gamecocks’ 2-0 victory over Alabama A&M. The Dallas, Texas, native entered the match for his first action of the season at the 73:30 mark and promptly nailed his first career goal at the 78:10 mark. Upchurch fed Mike Sambursky a ball inside the 18-yard box and Sambursky returned it to the sender. Upchurch scored from just inside the six-yard box.

South Carolina will play at least two games on telelvision this fall. The Gamecocks’ home match with Conference USA rival UAB on Sept. 27 and Carolina’s road match at SMU on Oct. 18 are slated to broadcast on College Sports Television.

Both games will be shown tape delay. The Carolina-UAB match will air Sunday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. ET. and the match at SMU will air at 8p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 22. The Conference USA Tournament title match (Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. ET) will also air live nationally on CSTV.

Carolina will travel to Cary, N.C., to play NC State in its final non-conference match on Sept. 20. The match will be played at SAS Soccer Complex, site of the 2005 National Championship game. The Gamecocks will then step into Conference USA action on Sunday, Sept. 24, when the Memphis Tigers visit Columbia.