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Sept. 13, 2007

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adidas Gamecock Classic Tournament Website | South Carolina Media Notes

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s soccer team hosts its annual adidas Gamecock Classic this weekend at Stone Stadium. Joining Carolina in the two-day event is Lipscomb University, Longwood University and Presbyterian College. Lipscomb and Presbyterian are each looking for their first win this season, while Longwood brings a 2-2-0 record into tournament action. The Gamecocks own a 3-2-0 record for the year, having most recently defeated Wofford in overtime on Tuesday. Gametracker will be available for all games this weekend via

Carolina has played two games that have gone into overtime this season, going 2-0-0 in those contests. The Gamecocks defeated then-No. 12 Clemson in the final minute of double overtime in the season opener on Aug. 31. The Gamecocks overcame a one-goal deficit late in the second half against Wofford on Sept. 11 to force overtime, eventually defeating the Terriers 2-1 in just the second minute of the first overtime session. Last season, the Gamecocks compiled a 1-1-1 record in overtime games.

The Gamecocks are ranked fifth in the South Region this week (Sept. 11), according to the NSCAA. Carolina is also receiving votes in the most recent NSCAA and College Soccer News top 25 polls.

Carolina fields an extremely young, but talented, group of starters this season. Five true freshmen have earned a starting position for head coach Mark Berson (Arthur, Brettschneider, Maurer, O’Dell, Stewart), while four sophomores (Burstein, Ruthven, Scannella, Wiltse), one junior (Smith) and one senior (Moon) have also garnered starting spots.

Junior midfielder Kevan Hawkins had a career day in the overtime victory against Wofford. He tallied three shots on goal, including the game winner in the 92nd minute. The goal marked the first of his career as a Gamecock.

SMU leads the Conference USA non-conference standings this weak, holding its unbeaten record at 2-0-1. Tulsa owns a 3-1-0 mark, Memphis follows with a 2-1-1 record, and South Carolina is 3-2-0, rounding out the teams above the .500 winning percentage mark. UAB and UCF both own 2-2-0 records, Kentucky is 1-2-1, followed by Marshall at 1-2-0 and FIU at 0-3-1.

As a team, the Gamecocks rank second in the league with 62 shots taken, while Carolina’s 21 saves on the year also rank second among league competitors. Freshman Blake Brettschneider leads C-USA in shots (17) and shots per game (3.40), while classmate Sam Arthur leads the league with seven points (three goals-1 assist) and ranks tied for first with three goals this season.

The Gamecocks kicked off their 2007 season with a bang on Aug. 31, defeating then-No. 12 Clemson, 1-0, on its home field in the 109th minute of the second sudden death overtime period. South Carolina freshman Blake Brettschneider scored the game-winning goal in his collegiate debut as the Gamecocks upset the Tigers. Brettschneider scored the lone goal on an assist from junior midfielder David Smith. Brettschneider led the offensive attack with four shots on goal, while senior midfielder J.D. Moon and sophomore forward Bryan Lowder each contributed two shots on the net. Freshman goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected seven saves in his first collegiate start.

For his top-notch play in his first collegiate start, Blake Brettschneider was honored as the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 4. Brettschneider scored the lone Gamecock goal in the 1-0 upset of then-No. 12 Clemson on Aug. 31 in his first contest at Carolina.

Carolina’s true freshman goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer proved he deserves the starting job in his first collegiate season. Maurer tallied seven saves against Clemson in the shutout victory on Aug. 31 in his collegiate debut, including four crucial saves in the second half. Maurer has collected 20 saves this season and also recorded a shutout in the home opener against Presbyterian College on Sept. 4.

Carolina freshman forwards Sam Arthur and Blake Brettschneider have certainly lived up to preseason expectations. The duo has combined for four of Carolina’s seven goals on the year and 20 shots this season. In addition, Brettschneider earned his first career Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week accolade on Sept. 4 for his game-winning tally in the upset of intrastate rival Clemson on Aug. 31.

HEAD COACH Mark Berson
USC head coach Mark Berson is in his 31st season (405-155-46) as a collegiate head coach and his 30th (394-150-46) at the helm of the Gamecock program. During Berson’s tenure, USC has made two College Cup appearances, 18 NCAA Tournament appearances and has won two conference championships (Conference USA, 2005; Metro Conference, 1993).

The Gamecocks posted an 8-1-0 record last season at Stone Stadium, including notable wins over Davidson and Conference USA opponents Memphis and UAB. Carolina holds a 2-0-0 record at home this season, having defeated Presbyterian, 4-0, in the home opener on Sept. 4 and Wofford, 2-1, in overtime on Sept. 11.

•• Freshman forward Miguel DaSilva scored two goals in a 4-3 loss to visiting Georgia State Sunday. Ben Page posted two assists in the Georgia State game, one on DaSilva’s goal and another on a goal by Garrett McLaughlin, a freshman defender, who scored his first collegiate goal.

•• The three goals scored by the Bisons against Georgia State were the most since Sept. 22, 2006 when the Bisons beat visiting Wofford 3-2.

•• Senior forward Ben Page was an Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference selection based on the votes of the conference coaches.

•• Longwood’s newcomers have had an immediate impact in the Lancer line-up as three of the four players with points are first-year players.

•• This weekend’s match-ups will mark the first time during the 2007 season Longwood will be traveling away from Farmville. It also opens a six-game road trip for Longwood.

•• Longwood has had each of their four games come down to the wire as each contest was decided by one goal.

•• The Blue Hose will be looking for their first win as an NCAA Division I institution in the tournament.

•• PC is 0-5 this season and has yet to find the back of the net.

•• PC defenders Nick Whicker and John Odum were chosen to the Diadora/Spinx Furman University Tournament All-Tournament squad last weekend.

Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week
Blake Brettschneider • Sept. 4