Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Oct. 5, 2006

FIU Notes in PDF Format
dot.gifspacer.gifDownload Free Acrobat Reader

The No. 9 South Carolina men’s soccer team (9-2-, 2-1 C-USA) will look to get back on the winning track Saturday night when Florida International (4-5-2, 0-2 C-USA) visits Columbia for a 7 p.m. match at Stone Stadium. Saturday’s match is the second to last at home for the Gamecocks this regular season. After winning nine straight, South Carolina had its nation’s best win streak snapped in a 1-0 double overtime loss at Kentucky on Sunday. A live audio broadcast of Saturday’s match can be heard on South Carolina official athletics web site, Matt Younginer will call all the action. Fans can also follow the match live through Gametrack on the web site. Saturday’s match is Military Appreciation Night. Patrons with a military ID will be admitted for $3. Kids wearing a youth soccer jersey will receive $1 admission. In addition, the team will be available for an autograph session following the match.

>> The Gamecocks will look to extend their win streak to seven over Florida International on Saturday night. Carolina is unbeaten with a 6-0-1 record all-time against the Golden Panthers.

>> Carolina and Florida International both joined Conference USA as affiliate members in 2005. In last season’s meeting between the two teams, South Carolina picked up a 3-1 win (Nov. 4, 2005) in Miami.

>> Head coach Mark Berson captured career win No. 400 on Sept. 27 against UAB. Berson is one of five active Division I coaches and one of 11 Division I coaches all-time to reach the milestone.

>> Dating back to last season, the Gamecocks are 21-4-2 in their last 27 matches.

South Carolina owns a 9-2-0 record overall and a 2-1-0 mark in Conference USA. The Gamecocks went 1-1 last week, defeating No. 25 UAB, 2-0, on Wednesday night for coach Mark Berson’s 400th career victory and falling at Kentucky, 1-0, in double overtime on Sunday. Senior Mike Sambursky continues to lead South Carolina in scoring. The preseason All-American has compiled 18 points on five goals and eight assists. Senior Rob Charest (3 g, 2 a), sophomore David Smith (2 g, 4 a) and freshman Jeff Scannella (2 g, 4 a) are tied for second with eight points each. Senior Ayo Akinsete (3 g, 1 a) ranks third on the club with seven points. Sophomore Mike Gustavson has played every minute in goal this season and registered an 0.98 goals-against average. Gustavson has collected 32 saves and has five shutouts. South Carolina has out-shot its opponents, 157-125, and taken 56 corner kicks and while giving up 47. The Gamecocks have scored 22 goals and allowed 11.

Florida International brings a 4-5-2 overall record and an 0-2-0 mark in Conference USA play to Columbia this weekend. The Golden Panthers dropped a 3-2 double overtime decision to No. 1 SMU last Friday in Miami. Due to a pair of red cards, FIU played with nine men for the last 20 minutes of regulation and all of overtime. On Wednesday night, FIU fell to Tulsa, 2-0, at home. Saturday night’s match with South Carolina will mark the Panthers’ first true road match of the season. David Hope leads the club in scoring with nine points on a team-high four goals and one assist. Shawn Crowe serves as FIU’s starting goalkeeper. Crowe has a 1.04 goals-against averagre to go with 33 saves and a pair of clean sheets. Karl Kremser is in his 27th season as Florida International’s head coach.

South Carolina maintained a top-10 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches’ Association Poll, tying for ninth this week. The Gamecocks are No. 13 in the Soccer Times poll, No. 14 according to College Soccer News and No. 23 in the Soccer America rankings.

South Carolina continues to be tough at home this season. The Gamecocks are 6-1-0 and have won six straight at Stone Stadium. All-time, Carolina has won more than 80 percent of its home contests with a 262-57-17 record.

The Gamecocks hold a 22-7-4 all-time record against Conference USA opponents. In its first season competing in the league in 2005, Carolina finished with a 7-1-1 mark during regular season competition and 2-0-1 in the C-USA Tournament on the way to winning the title. Here’s a look at the Gamecocks’ history versus league teams:

Team Home    Away    Neutral OverallUAB 1-1-0   1-0-0   2-0-0   4-1-0UCF 1-0-0   2-0-0   0-0-1   3-0-1FIU 2-0-1   3-0-0   0-0-0   5-0-1Kentucky    2-0-0   1-1-0   0-0-1   3-1-1Marshall    0-1-0   0-0-0   0-0-0   0-1-0Memphis 1-0-0   0-0-1   1-0-0   2-0-1SMU     3-0-0   0-1-0   0-3-0   3-4-0Tulsa   1-0-0   0-0-0   1-0-0   2-0-0Totals   11-2-1  7-2-1   4-3-2   22-7-4

According to the most recent NCAA Statistics Report (through matches on Oct. 1):

>> South Carolina is tied for 27th in scoring offense, averaging 2.00 goals per match.
>> The Gamecocks’ .818 winning percentage (9-2-0 record) also ranks tied for 11th nationally.
>> Mike Sambursky ranks fifth with an average of 0.73 assists per match.
>> Mike Sambursky also ranks tied for 29th nationally with an average of 1.64 points per match.

The Gamecocks have scored four goals on corner kicks this season and freshman Jeff Scannella has earned the assist on each one. In the season opener against Clemson, David Smith scored after a wide corner kick from Scannella. Rob Charest headed a corner in against Davidson, Ryan Leeton put away a corner in the win over NC State and Cory Lewis scored his first career goal by heading in a corner kick against UAB. Scannella has three goals and four assists this season for a total of eight points, which puts him tied for second on the team. Scannella’s four assists are tied for eighth all-time on the Gamecocks’ freshman list.

South Carolina’s six-man senior class has provided both production and leadership this season. Ayo Akinsete, Rob Charest, Makan Hislop, Ryan Leeton, Ralph Pace and Mike Sambursky were all regulars in the starting 11 last season and three finished the season with all-conference laurels (Sambursky, Leeton and Pace). The group has combined to make 277 starts and play in 309 matches for the Garnet and Black. They have also scored 140 points on 54 goals and 37 assists.

Six true freshmen have seen action for the Gamecocks this season and three have been regulars in the starting lineup. Jeff Scannella has started all 11 matches in the midfield and is tied for second in scoring with eight points on three goals and two assists. Mark Wiltse has started 10 matches in back, missing one due to injury. Mario Burstein was out with an injury for South Carolina’s first five matches, but has started all six matches on the back line since recovering. In addition, Cory Lewis has played in all 11 matches and earned his first career start against Kentucky. Lewis scored both goals in the Gamecocks’ 2-0 win over No. 25 UAB.

South Carolina goes back on the road for two straight matches. The Gamecocks will play at Marshall on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. ET before traveling to Dallas, Texas, to face No. 1 SMU on Wednesday, Oct. 18, in a match that will be televised tape delay on CSTV. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.