Aug. 18, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind sophomore Evan O’Dell’s game-winning tally in the final minute of play, the South Carolina men’s soccer team defeated Winthrop, 1-0, in its first exhibition of the season on Monday at Stone Stadium in Columbia. O’Dell connected on a header, the result of a double assist from juniors Jeff Scannella and Tyler Ruthven to clinch the Gamecock victory. South Carolina holds a 1-0 record in the exhibition season, while the Eagles fall to 0-1.
“Tonight was a good game to give us some reference points on what we need to do for the remainder of preseason and the beginning of the regular season,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “Winthrop is an experienced team that won 11 games last year and this was a good test for us. It was particularly pleasing to see our guys find a way to win at the end. We will certainly learn a lot from this game.”
Both the Gamecocks and Eagles tallied nine shots on the night with Winthrop holding a slight edge with four shots on goal against three by South Carolina. Sophomore Sam Arthur, Scannella and senior Kevan Hawkins led the Gamecocks with two shots each, while O’Dell, sophomore Mike Lindsay and junior Schuyler Reardon each registered one shot.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer played an exceptional match in the net, collecting five saves in just over 75 minutes of play before Sean Nguyen took over goalkeeping duties the remaining 14 minutes of the contest to clinch the shutout for the Gamecocks.
Carolina played a quiet first half on the offensive side of the ball, but excelled its attack during the second half, posting six shots in the set, while the Eagles managed just one shot during the half.
With just under 35 seconds to play, Scannella hit a perfectly placed free kick inside the six-yard box and Ruthven redirected the ball across the net in O’Dell’s direction where he connected on a solid header to score the winning Gamecock tally.
South Carolina continues exhibition play when it hosts ACC foe NC State on Aug. 23 at Stone Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m.