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Oct. 5, 2007

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 25th-ranked University of South Carolina men’s soccer team continues Conference USA play this weekend, traveling to face Florida International on Sunday. With their most recent 2-1 victory over Davidson earlier this week, the Gamecocks have improved their overall record to 7-3-0, including a 1-0-0 mark in C-USA action. FIU owns a 0-7-2 record, including a 0-1-0 mark in league action. Carolina holds a dominating 7-0-1 record in the all-time series between the two schools, having won six consecutive meetings entering Sunday’s match.

South Carolina Head Coach Mark Berson on Sunday’s game at FIU: “Each year FIU is one of the best teams technically that we face. On top of that, they are a big strong group. They have an excellent goalkeeper and they are well organized. They are an experienced team that has played a tough schedule this year. This is another big challenge for us on the road, but our team is playing well right now and we are finding our stride.”

Battling back from a one-goal deficit at the half, the South Carolina men’s soccer team scored two goals in the final 11 minutes of the match to beat Davidson, 2-1, in non-conference road action Wednesday at Alumni Field. Sophomore defender Tyler Ruthven scored Carolina’s first goal of the match and sophomore midfielder Jeff Scannella scored his second consecutive game winner to extend USC’s winning streak to three games. USC

Freshman forward Blake Brettschneider paced the Carolina offense with two shots on goal in the match, adding his team-leading fourth assist of the season on Scannella’s tally. Ruthven and Scannella each added one shot on net, while junior midfielder David Smith contributed his third assist of the season on Ruthven’s finish in the second half. Davidson out-shot the Gamecocks 12-7 in the match.

Defensively for the Gamecocks, freshman goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected three saves in net, while Davidson goalkeeper Robby Goldsberry tallied two saves, while allowing two goals in the loss.

After a solid victory over league rival UAB, South Carolina has re-entered the National Top 25 poll this week. USC ranks tied for 25th in the Soccer Times poll.

FIU most recently dropped a 1-0 decision to Marshall in the Conference USA opener for both schools. The Golden Panthers are led by Juan Guerra

For the first time in his Carolina career, sophomore midfielder Jeff Scannella has been selected to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week. He was honored for his game-winning tally in South Carolina’s Conference USA season-opening victory against UAB on Saturday. Scannella, an Alpharetta, Ga., native, has two goals this season in nine starts for the Gamecocks.

Freshman goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 1). Maurer collected six saves and earned his fourth shutout of the season in the Gamecocks 1-0 victory in their 2007 league opener at UAB on Saturday. His 0.89 goals against average ranks fourth among Conference USA competitors, while his .843 save percentage ranks third. Maurer recently earned adidas Gamecock Classic Defensive MVP honors for recording his second shutout victory of the season in a 2-0 win over Lipscomb (Sept. 16). He followed with a season-best 10 saves against Duke (Sept. 19) and four saves against an offensive minded Alabama A&M (Sept. 23) team.

The Gamecocks are ranked fourth in the South Region this week (Oct. 1), according to the NSCAA. Carolina trails top-ranked Wake Forest, Duke (2) and Furman (3) in the South Region rankings.