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Oct. 17, 2006

SC-SMU Game Notes

The No. 16 South Carolina men’s soccer team travels to Dallas, Texas, to face No. 1 SMU on Wednesday, Oct. 18, in a Conference USA showdown that will be televised tape-delay on CSTV. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET at Westcott Field on the SMU campus. Jason Knapp (play-by-play) and Tom Stone (color) will have the call.

Fans can also follow the match live through Gametracker on South Carolina’s web site at

The contest between the Gamecocks and Mustangs will first air on CSTV on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. ET. CSTV is available on Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Adelphia and Insight cable systems, among others, and is also available on DirecTV (Channel 610) and DISH Network (Channel 152). On Time Warner cable in Columbia, CSTV is channel 150.

South Carolina is No. 16 in the latest National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America Poll and No. 4 in the NSCAA South Region Poll. The Gamecocks are No. 16 according to College Soccer News and No. 13 in the Soccer Times poll.

South Carolina brings a 10-3 record into Wednesday’s match at SMU and a 3-2 mark against Conference USA competiiton. The Gamecocks fell on the road at Marshall Saturday night, 2-1, in their last outing. Senior Mike Sambursky, who earned preseason All-America honors, leads South Carolina in scoring with 18 points on five goals and eight assists. Freshman Jeff Scannella has reached the 10-point plateau with three goals and four assists and stands as the Gamecocks’ second-leading scorer. Sophomore David 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, 184-148, and taken 65 corner kicks and while giving up 56. The Gamecocks have scored 24 goals and allowed 13. Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Gustavson has an 0.98 goals-against average and shares the team’s record of 10-3 after playing all 1,194:02. He has made 38 saves and posted six shutouts.


>> South Carolina and SMU have played seven times and the Mustangs hold a 4-3-0 advantage in the all-time series. The two teams have played just once in Dallas, on Oct. 6, 1996. SMU cam away with a 3-2 victory.

>> In last season’s meeting, the Gamecocks defeated the Mustangs, 3-0, with goals from Makan Hislop, Ayo Akinsete and Josh Alcala on Oct. 30, 2005, in Columbia. South Carolina was the only C-USA to beat SMU last season.

>> In 2005, the Gamecocks posted a 2-0-1 record on the way to winning the Conference USA Tournament title at SMU’s Westcott Field.

>> After winning nine straight matches, South Carolina has lost two of its last three matches, both on the road. The Gamecocks fell at Kentucky, 1-0, in double overtime on Sunday, Oct. 1, and at Marshall, 2-1, on Saturday night.

>> Among active Division I coaches SMU coach Schellas Hyndman and Mark Berson rank second and fifth, respectively, in terms of wins. Hyndman has won 448 matches while Berson’s career win total stands at 401.

>> Dating back to last season, the Gamecocks are 22-5-2 in their last 29 matches.

>> South Carolina returns to Columbia for its final regular season home match on Saturday, Oct. 21. The Gamecocks’ six seniors will be honored prior to the 7 p.m. match with UCF.

SMU has spent several weeks as the nation’s top-ranked team and remains the only unbeaten club. The Mustangs are 13-0-2, including an 8-0-0 mark at home. In its last meeting, MSU played to a 2-2 draw at UCF this past Saturday. Chase Wileman leads SMU in scoring with 16 points on four goals and eight assists. Adrian Chevannes is next with 13 points on five goals and thre assists. Fifteen players on the Mustangs roster have scored a goal. Matt Wideman has started all 15 matches in goal. Wideman owns an 0.48 goals-against average and made 45 saves this season. He has also recorded eight shutouts. Schellas Hyndman is in his 23rd season at SMU.

The Gamecocks should not be without their own contingent of fans for Wednesday’s match at SMU. The trip to the Lone Star is a homecoming of sorts for five players on the South Carolina roster. Seniors Ryan Leeton (Midland) and Mike Sambursky (Katy), junior Daniel Upchurch (Dallas) and sophomores Kevan Hawkins (Denton) and David Smith (Arlington) hail from the state of Texas and several family members and friends are expected to be in attendance Wednesday night.

South Carolina currently trails SMU by one point in the Conference USA race. Both Carolina and Tulsa have compiled nine points in five matches while the Mustangs have 10 points through four matches. UAB stands in fourth with seven points in five matches. Kentucky, Memphis and FIU hold a three-way tie for fifth with six points apiece. UCF is in eighth with five points and Marshall is ninth with three points through four matches. The Gamecocks have three conference matches remaining, two of which are on the road. Following South Carolina’s match at No. 1 SMU (Oct. 18), the Gamecocks return home for the final time this regualr season to host eighth-place UCF (Oct. 21). South Carolina wraps up the regular season at Tulsa (Oct. 28).

South Carolina has recorded six shutouts this season, which ranks in the top 30 nationally. It’s the most clean sheets since the 2003 team finished with eight. Carolina’s defense is limiting the opponent to less than one goal per game (0.98) and the Gamecocks have allowed more than one goal just four times this season. In five conference games, South Carolina has posted a pair of shutouts.

Senior Mike Sambursky ranks among the nation’s assist leaders, according to the most recent NCAA statistics report (Oct. 16). Sambursky has assisted on eight goals in 13 matches this season, an average of 0.62 per match, which puts him tied for fourth nationally and first among Conference USA players (all games). 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.

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 are all regulars in the starting 11 for the second straight season. In 2005, three of them finished the season with all-conference laurels (Sambursky, Leeton and Pace).

Altogether, the group has combined to make 289 starts and play in 321 matches for the Garnet and Black. They have also scored 142 points on 55 goals and 37 assists.

South Carolina leads all Conference USA teams in attendance. The Gamecocks average 1,223 fans at home matches and 1,059 fans per match overall.

A total of 5,009 fans were on hand to witness the Gamecocks’ season opener against Clemson. The crowd was the 10th-largest in school history, overtaking a crowd of 4,953 for a match against Indiana on Oct. 28, 1990.

Seven Gamecock players call the Palmetto State home: sophomores Mike Gustavson (Aiken/South Aiken), Spencer Lewis (Irmo/Irmo) and Brennan Williams (Columbia/Cardinal Newman) and freshmen Schuyler Reardon (Aiken/Aiken High), Matt Winstead (Columbia/Cardinal Newman), Trey Foster (Fort Mill) and Paddy Flynn (Columbia/Spring Valley).