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USC-Marshall Notes in PDF Format
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Oct. 12, 2006

The No. 11 South Carolina men’s soccer team will play the first of two straight games on the road when it travels to Huntington, W. Va., to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd Saturday, Oct. 14. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Sam Hood Field. This is South Carolina’s first-ever trip to Huntington to face Conference USA foe Marshall.

Winners of nine of their last 10 matches, the Gamecocks are 10-2-0 overall and a 3-1-0 in Conference USA play. Last week, South Carolina defeated Florida International, 1-0, Oct. 7 in Columbia. Freshman midfielder Jeff Scannella scored the game winner on an assist from sophomore David Smith. Senior Mike Sambursky, who earned preseason All-America honors, leads South Carolina in scoring with 18 points on five goals and eight assists. Scannella has reached the 10-point plateau with three goals and four assists and stands as the Gamecocks’ second-leading scorer. Smith trails Scannella by just one point, having scored two goals and assisted on five others. The Gamecocks’ offensive attack is fairly balanced. Ten different players have scored at least one goal and seven are credited with at minimum of two. South Carolina has out-shot its opponents, 169-136, and taken 60 corner kicks and while giving up 53. The Gamecocks have scored 23 goals and allowed 11. Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Gustavson, the reigning C-USA Defensive Player of the Week, has an 0.90 goals-against average and shares the team’s record of 11-2 after playing all 1,104:02. He has made 38 saves and posted six shutouts.

Marshall’s record stands at 3-7-1 overall and 0-3-0 in Conference USA action. The Thundering Herd has lost five straight, including setbacks at then-No. 25 UAB (2-1, Sept. 23), at Tulsa (1-0, Oct. 7) and at home to Florida International (3-1, Oct. 11). Marshall is in ninth place in the current league standings. Karim Boukhemis leads Marshall in scoring with seven points on three goals and one assist. Dana Heimbecker has three assists to pace the Herd.Nine different players have scored at least one goal. Greg Terhune and Greg Walter have split the majority of minutes in goal for the Herd. Terhune has an 0.96 goals-against average in five appearances, including two shutouts. Walter has played in six matches and owns a 2.94 goals-against average. Marshall has been out-scored 19-14 but has out-shot its opponents, 164-131. Bob Gray is in his 12th season as the head coach at Marshall.


>> South Carolina and Marshall met for the first time in 2005. Despite a 23-9 shots advantage, the Gamecocks suffered their only loss in conference play, 1-0, in Columbia on Oct. 16.

>> Among active Division I coaches South Carolina head coach Mark Berson and Marshall head coach Bob Gray rank fifth and sixth, respectively, for career victories. Berson reached the 400-win plateau earlier this season; Gray boasts 370 career wins.

>> Dating back to last season, the Gamecocks are 22-4-2 in their last 28 matches.

>> After Saturday’s match with FIU, 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.

South Carolina is tied for 11th in this week’s National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America Poll. The Gamecocks are No. 12 according to College Soccer News and No. 13 in the Soccer Times poll. Soccer America ranks the Gamecocks No. 19 in its weekly top 25 poll.

South Carolina goalkeeper Mike Gustavson has been named the Conference USA Defensive Player of Week, the league office announced Monday. Gustavson is the first Gamecock to win the award this season. Gustavson, a native of Aiken, S.C., made six saves, including an important stop with less than four minutes in regulation, as the No. 9 Gamecocks defeated Florida International, 1-0, on Saturday in Columbia. Gustavson has recorded six shutouts, including a pair against Conference USA foes, and in four league games, the sophomore boasts a 0.47 goals-against average and an .882 save percentage. Overall, Gustavson owns a 0.90 goals-against average. This is the second time Gustavson has been honored during his career. He also picked up the weekly honor on Nov. 7, 2005.

South Carolina has recorded six shutouts, this season, the most since the 2003 team finished with eight clean sheets. Carolina’s defense is limiting the opponent to less than one goal per game (0.90) and the Gamecocks have allowed more than one goal just three times this season. In four conference games, South Carolina has posted a pair of shutouts.

South Carolina is currently tied at the top of the Conference USA standings along with SMU and Tulsa. All three teams have accumulated nine points. No. 1 and undefeated SMU (13-0-1) has played just three league games, South Carolina has played four and Tulsa has played five. The Gamecocks have four conference matches remaining, three of which are on the road. In addition to Saturday’s match at ninth-place Marshall, South Carolina plays at No. 1 SMU (Oct. 18) amd trave;s to Tulsa (Oct. 28) for the regular season finale. The Gamecocks host UCF, which is currently in tied for sixth, on Oct. 21 in Columbia.

Senior Mike Sambursky ranks among the nation’s assist leaders, according to the most recent NCAA statistics report (Oct. 2). Sambursky has assisted on eight goals in 12 matches this season, an average of 0.67 per match, which puts him tied for fourth nationally. His eight assists in 2006 match his junior season total from 2005. In addition, Sambursky’s 22 career assists rank eighth all-time at South Carolina.

According to the most recent NCAA Statistics Report (through matches on Oct. 8):

>> South Carolina is tied for 29th in scoring offense, averaging 1.92 goals per match. >> The Gamecocks’ .833 winning percentage (10-2-0 record) also ranks tied for eighth nationally. >> Mike Sambursky ranks tied for fourth with an average of 0.67 assists per match.

South Carolina continues to be tough at home this season. The Gamecocks are 7-1-0 this season and have won seven straight at Stone Stadium. All-time, Carolina has won more than 80 percent of its home contests with a 263-57-17 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, including a 2-1 mark this season:

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 3-0-1   3-0-0   0-0-0   7-0-1Kentucky    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  13-2-1  7-2-1   4-3-2   23-7-4