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Sept. 19, 2006

The South Carolina men’s soccer team (6-1-0) will look for win No. 7 on Wednesday, Sept. 20, in its final non-conference match of the regular season against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The two teams will square off at 7 p.m. at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

Winners of six straight, South Carolina is ranked No. 11 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Poll this week. The Gamecocks own a 6-1-0 record so far in their non-conference slate. Senior Mike Sambursky continues to lead South Carolina in scoring. The preseason All-American has compiled 14 points on four goals and six assists. Senior Rob Charest in Carolina’s second-leading scorer with eight points on three goals and two assists. Eight different Gamecock players have scored at least one goal and seven have registered at least one assist.

The Gamecocks have held their opponent scoreless in four of seven matches this season. Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Gustavson has a 1.00 goals-against average to go with 16 saves.

South Carolina has out-shot its opponents, 97-63, and taken 32 corner kicks while giving up 26.

North Carolina State’s season record stands at 3-4-0 and 1-2-0 in ACC matches entering Wednesday’s contest. The Wolfpack has dropped its last two games to teams ranked among the top six nationally. On Saturday, NC State fell to sixth-ranked Maryland, 3-0, and on Sept. 9 the team fell to No. 2 Virginia, 2-1. NC State’s biggest win this season came on Sept. 6, a 3-1 victory over North Carolina.

Freshman Alan Sanchez is the Pack’s leading scorer with three goals and six points. Junior El Hadj Cisse (2 goals) and freshman Jorge Mora (1 g, 2 a) have both scored four points. Christopher Widman has played the majority of minutes in goal and owns a 1.58 goals-against average. He has made 15 saves and recorded one shutout. Tom DeStefano has played in two matches and started once in the Pack’s last match with Maryland. DeStefano has a 2.32 goals-against aveage and 10 saves.

NC State head coach George Tarantini is in his 21st season.


– South Carolina (6-1-0) brings a six-match win streak into Wednesday’s contest with NC State. The Wolfpack is 3-4-0 on the season with three of four losses coming to teams ranked in the top 25 and two against teams ranked in the top 10.

– Dating back to last season, the Gamecocks are 18-3-2 in their last 23 matches.

– South Carolina and NC State play for the 14th time on the soccer field on Wednesday. The series dates back to 1981 and is deadlocked at 6-6-1. Carolina won the last meeting between the two teams, 2-1, in 2002.

– Carolina has recorded four shutouts in six matches and ranks No. 10 nationally in shutout percentage (.067). The Gamecocks have shut out four of five opponents during their current winning streak.

– Mike Sambursky has been involved in 10 of the Gamecocks’ 15 goals this season. He has scored four and assisted on six others. At an average of 2.00 points per game, the co-captain is tied for 16th nationally.

– By averaging 2.14 goals-per game, the Gamecocks rank No. 27 nationally in scoring offense, according to the most recent NCAA Statistics (Sept. 18). South Carolina also ranks No. 18 in shutouts per game (0.57). The team’s .857 winning perecentage is tied for 10th.

South Carolina appears in three of the four national pollls this week with its highest ranking at No. 11 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of American Poll. The Gamecocks are No. 15, according to Soccer Times, up seven front from No. 22 a week ago, and No. 16 in the College Soccer News Top 30, up from No. 25 last week.

The Gamecocks are one of four Conference USA teams that appear in this week’s NSCAA Poll. SMU is No. 3 this week, Memphis comes in at No. 15 and UAB is ranked No. 25.

Senior Mike Sambursky is tied for fourth nationally with six assists in seven matches, an average of 0.86 per match. Sambursky has moved into South Carolina’s career top 10 this season. He has recorded 20 assists, which is tied for eighth all-time at Carolina. In addition, the Katy, Texas, product ranks second among all Conference USA players in total assists and assists per game.

South Carolina’s curren six-match win streak is tied for second nationally. Only No. 1 Virginia, No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Washington, all with perfect 7-0-0 records, have won more consecutive games than Carolina. Akron (6-1-0) and Seton (6-2-0) also have six-match win streaks. South Carolina’s current streak is the longest since opening the 2003 season with seven consecutive victories.

South Carolina head coach Mark Berson is closing in on career win No. 400. With six victories this season, Berson’s career total stands at 397.

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.

Eight different South Carolina players have scored at least one goal this season and seven have registered at least one assist.

– Conference USA play begins across the league this weekend. The Gamecock kick off their league slate at home on Sunday, Sept. 24, when the 15th-ranked Memphis Tigers visit Columbia for a 1 p.m. match. – Four C-USA teams are ranked in the national polls this week (SMU, South Carolina, Memphis and UAB). Collectively, Conference USA 41-23-6 so far this season. – The Gamecocks will play Memphis, UAB (Sept. 27), Florida International (Oct. 7) and UCF (Oct. 21) at home this season. South Carolina takes on Kentucky (Oct. 1), Marshall (Oct. 14), SMU (Oct. 18) and Tulsa (Oct. 28) on the road. – The Gamecocks were picked to finish second in the league coaches’ preseason poll. SMU, the 2005 regular season winner, was predicted to finish first. UAB was picked third and Tulsa was picked fourth.

South Carolina will play at least two games on television 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 8 p.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.