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Sept. 21, 2007

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s soccer team returns home this Sunday to host Alabama A&M (2-4-0) at 3:30 p.m. The match will be the second Gamecock soccer game played at Stone Stadium that day, as the women’s team will host Marshall at 1 p.m. in the first game of the non-conference doubleheader for both squads. The Gamecock men bring a 4-3-0 overall record to the contest after playing a tough road schedule throughout the month of September. A young and talented Carolina team defeated then-No. 12 Clemson, 1-0, in double overtime in the season opener, and has also faced nationally-ranked opponents in Duke, UConn and South Florida in non-conference play this season on the road.

South Carolina most recently suffered a 2-1 road-loss to No. 9 Duke on Wednesday. Keeping with the trend of the season, head coach Mark Berson fielded 10 underclassmen in his starting lineup, including five freshmen and five sophomores. Down 1-0 early in the opening half, Carolina rallied back to tie the score at 1-1 on a Sam Arthur goal in the 26th minute before losing on a penalty kick late in the match.

Sophomore defender Mark Wiltse led Carolina with two shots against the Blue Devils, while Arthur, freshman midfielder Josh Stewart and freshman defender Will Traynor each registered one shot on net. Arthur recorded Carolina’s lone goal of the night on an assist from sophomore forward Schuyler Reardon, his second of the season. Additionally, Carolina’s freshman goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected a season-best 10 saves.

Coach Berson has seen continued progress with his young squad throughout the non-conference portion of its schedule.

“Our team has made solid progress through one of the most demanding road schedules we have ever had in September,” Berson said. “Playing Clemson, UConn, South Florida and Duke on the road has this group battle tested and ready for our conference season. Confidence can’t be pumped in with a pep talk – it has to be earned. This team is now confident in the things they can do and they have earned that confidence. We are playing our best soccer of the year right now and the challenge is to keep improving each week.

“Alabama A&M is an exciting, attack-oriented team that has talent all over the field at every position. They have played a rigorous road schedule and they are an outstanding team. Our team will be excited to be at home as we close out the non-conference part of our schedule.”

All home Gamecock soccer contests have Gametracker and live audio available via Please visit the official website of South Carolina athletics for updates on all varsity sports.