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Nov. 2, 2007

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team travels to the University of Central Florida (4-11-1, 0-5-1 C-USA) for its final regular-season road match on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Gamecocks own a 9-5-1 overall record, including a 3-2-1 mark in C-USA play. With its 10 points in league action, South Carolina has secured a berth in the Conference USA Championship to be hosted by UAB, Nov. 14-18. The Gamecocks have never lost to UCF in five meetings between the two schools (4-0-1), including a 2-1 victory at Stone Stadium last season.

With 10 points in league action, South Carolina has secured a bid to its third consecutive Conference USA Championship tournament. The Gamecocks have appeared in the postseason championship each of its previous two seasons in the league, winning the event in 2005. Fourth-ranked SMU, No. 11 Tulsa, Kentucky and Memphis have also secured a spot in the postseason invite.

400 – TAKE TWO!
South Carolina head coach Mark Berson is one of the longest tenured men’s collegiate head coaches in the nation. He is one of just five active, and 11 Division I coaches all-time to reach the 400 victory milestone for his career. Berson recently hit the 400 mark – again – collecting his 400th career win at the helm of the Gamecock soccer program in USC’s 3-1 defeat of Conference USA rival on Oct. 27.

Carolina enters Sunday’s match with the Knights with a 9-5-1 overall record, including a 3-2-1 mark in league action. USC most recently defeated Marshall (Oct. 27), 3-1, and lost to No. 2. SMU (Oct. 24), 2-1, in a nationally televised contest on Fox Soccer Channel. Freshman forward Blake Brettschneider and sophomore midfielder Jeff Scannella have paced the Gamecock offense in recent weeks. Scannella scored in three consecutive contests, beginning with a game-winning tally at UAB (Sept. 29), followed by another game winner at Davidson (Oct. 3) and an insurance goal at FIU (Oct. 7). He chipped in his team-leading sixth tally of the season in USC’s victory over Marshall. Brettschneider has four goals and three assists for the year, most recently providing the lone goal in USC’s 1-1 tie against Memphis (Oct. 20). In the net, freshman goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer owns a 0.99 goals against average, while his four shutouts rank tied for third and his 65 saves rank second.

Central Florida enters Sunday’s match with a 4-11-1 overall record, including a 0-5-1 mark in C-USA action. UCF most recently dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to intrastate rival North Florida on Tuesday night. Junior Mike Mattson and senior Philip Michael Hall scored for the Knights, while freshman goalkeeper Sean Johnson recorded three saves.

Midfielder Jeff Scannella has continued a stellar sophomore campaign recently. The Alpharetta, Ga., native tallied his team-leading sixth tally of the season in USC’s 3-1 defeat of Conference USA foe Marshall on Oct. 27. Scannella also chipped in his second assist of the season against the Thundering Herd.

Senior defender/forward Daniel Upchurch was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District (III) Second Team, as announced by the organization on Thursday. This marks Upchurch’s second all-district academic award. He joined teammate Ryan Leeton on the team last season. Upchurch has been a key player off the bench this season, making 10 appearances, while contributing one assist.

Fourth-ranked SMU continues to pace C-USA with its unbeaten 6-0-1 league record. No. 11 Tulsa is just behind with a 4-0-2 mark, followed by Kentucky (4-2-0) and South Carolina (3-2-1). Memphis holds the fifth position with a 2-1-3 mark, followed by Marshall (2-4-0), FIU (2-5-0), UAB (1-5-0) and UCF (0-5-1).