Sept. 17, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C —The No. 10 University of South Carolina men’s soccer team scored three second-half goals and extended its win streak to six games Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 victory over Davidson at Stone Stadium in Columbia. The Gamecocks improved to6-1-0 on the year and halted the Wildcats’ four-match winning streak, sending them to a 4-4-0 record on the season.
The Gamecocks scored all three goals in a 15-minute span in the second half. Senior Rob Charest started the barrage, senior Mike Sambursky hit the game-winner and senior Ryan Leeton converted a penalty kick for an insurance goal.
“I’m very proud of the way we responded to the challenge from Davidson in the second half,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “in the first half, we had a number of good opportunities in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game, but we backed off in terms of our pressure. We came back and scored three goals on a very solid team that is particularly capable of holding on to a lead. The guys turned it up a notch and played great soccer in the second half. Davidson is an organized, patient and very solid team in all aspects. I’m proud of our performance in getting the win.”
After a pair dangerous scoring chances by Gameocck senior Ayo Akinsete, Davidson broke into the scoring column on its first shot at the 14:37 mark. Tom Lavan struck for his fourth goal of the season, a shot from 25-yards out that sailed into the upper right corner of the net. Mac Wilkie assisted on the goal, ending a stretch of 214:15 in which Carolina did not give up a goal.
The score would remain 1-0 in Davidson’s favor at halftime, but South Carolina returned the field and played the role of aggressor during the entire second half.
Charest provided the equalizer at the 57:09 mark, heading in a Jeff Scannella corner kick. The goal was the third of the season for Charest.
In the 63rd minute, Sambursky scored his team-leading fourth goal. Sophomore David Smith found Sambursky’s feet on a throw-in and Sambursky beat a pair of Wildcat defender before hitting the back of the net. The preseason All-American had scored at least one point in all seven of South Carolina’s matches this season.
The Gamecocks were awarded a penalty kick in the 72nd minute when the Davidson defense brought Scannella inside the 18-yard box. Co-captain Leeton drilled the attempt to give the Carolina the 3-1 advantage.
South Carolina out-shot Davidson, 10-5, overall and by a 7-1 margin in the second half. The Gamecocks took five corner kicks to just one for the Wildcats. Gamecock sophomore Mike Gustavson made two saves in goal. Davidson `keeper Ben Ashton finished with one save.
The Gamecocks improved to 17-6-1 all-time against Davidson and are 18-3-2 in their last 23 matches, dating back to last season.
South Carolina hits the road for a midweek match against North Carolina State on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The match will be played at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., and is set for a 7 p.m. start.