Sept. 7, 2008
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 loss to defending national champion and top-ranked Wake Forest on Sunday at W. Dennie Spry Stadium in the final game of the Wake Forest Deacon Fall Classic presented by NewBridge Bank in Winston-Salem. South Carolina falls to 1-2-1 with the loss, while the Demon Deacons improve to 4-0-0. Sophomore goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and freshman midfielder Stephen Morrissey were named to the Deacon Classic All-Tournament Team following South Carolina’s match against Wake Forest.
“A loss for us is not acceptable, we came up here to win, when we step on the field we expect to win and our players expected to win today,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “They did a lot of things they needed to do to get that win and we were a bit unlucky on that ball bouncing off the wall and then on the other end of the field we were unlucky where we beat them cleanly on a header and their defender saved it off the line. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way, but I think our guys today certainly have showed some things that we can build on and improve on. I’m proud of their effort first and foremost. If we can get that effort and make improvements as we did from the North Carolina game to this game it will stand us in good shape going forward for the rest of the season.”
Wake Forest tallied 12 shots against four by the Gamecocks in the contest. Freshman midfielders Stephen Morrissey and David MacVane tallied Carolina’s only shots on frame, while Marcus Tracy led Wake Forest with three shots on net, including the game winner.
Gamecock goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer recorded four saves in net, while Demon Deacon counterpart Akira Fitzgerald collected one save.
The Gamecock offense struggled to find rhythm in the opening half, posting two shots against seven by the Demon Deacons. Carolina’s best offensive threat of the set came at the 22-minute mark when Spencer Lewis placed a through ball to MacVane who was unable to find an angle on the goal, sending the ball directly into the hands of Fitzgerald in net for the Demon Deacons. Midfielder Josh Stewart sent a ball high over the net in the 42nd minute for Carolina’s final shot of the period.
Wake Forest had several chances in the opening minutes of the game. Deacon midfielder Corben Bone tallied four shots in the opening half, beginning with a strike just wide of frame in the sixth minute. He followed with a shot off the post in the 23rd-minute and another just wide 26 minutes into the set.
Wake Forest continued to pepper the Gamecock defense throughout the remainder of the opening frame, but Carolina halted several chances late in the half to hold the contest scoreless at the halftime intermission.
The teams traded offensive possessions in the opening minutes of the second half. A foul just outside of the Deacon 18-yard box yielded a Gamecock free kick in the 58th-minute. Scannella touched to ball to Arthur who sent a bullet just outside the near post for a near Gamecock miss.
A foul by a Gamecock defender on a Wake Forest breakaway gave the Demon Deacons a free kick one yard outside of the 18-yard box with 15 minutes remaining in the contest. Deacon midfielder Sam Cronin took the first touch on the ball, passing to Jamie Franks who stopped the ball for Tracy who managed to send the ball through the Gamecock wall and past Maurer in net for the 1-0 Wake Forest lead.
South Carolina pressed the Demon Deacon defense with a sense of urgency the remaining minutes of the half. Morrissey nearly missed a sure Gamecock goal with just four minutes remaining. A strong throw-in from midfielder Danny Cates sailed over the out-stretched arms of the Deacon goalkeeper and Morrissey headed the ball towards the net, but Wake Forest defender Lyle Adams was in position on the post, blocking the shot on the line to hold the 1-0 upperhand.
South Carolina continues the non-conference portion of its schedule when it hosts the adidas Gamecock Classic, Sept. 12-14, at Stone Stadium in Columbia. Jacksonville, Lehigh and Presbyterian College will join Carolina at the annual event. The opening game of the tournament on Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. will feature Lehigh and Jacksonville, while South Carolina begins its tournament run against Lehigh at approximately 7:30 p.m. A tournament website with box scores for all four games of the Classic will be available via www.GamecocksOnline.com.
The complete all-tournament team is listed below:
1. Eddie Ababio – North Carolina
2. Lyle Adams – Wake Forest
3. Ryan Adeleye – North Carolina
4. Sam Cronin – Wake Forest
5. Akira Fitzgerald – Wake Forest
6. Jason Leopoldo – UCLA
7. Jimmy Maurer – South Carolina
8. Stephen Morrissey – South Carolina
9. Brad Rusin – UCLA
10. Michael Stevens – UCLA
11. Marcus Tracy – Wake Forest
12. Kirk Urso – North Carolina