Sept. 12, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind Sam Arthur’s two-goal performance, the Gamecock men’s soccer team collected a 3-0 shutout victory over Lehigh in its opening contest of the 2008 adidas Gamecock Classic. The victory improves Carolina’s record to 2-2-1 for the year, while Lehigh falls to 3-1-1. Arthur’s multi-goal performance was his first of the season, while Gamecock goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected four saves en route to his seventh career shutout in net. Jacksonville (2-3-0) defeated Presbyterian (0-3-1), 3-0, in game one of the Classic earlier Friday evening.
“I’m very proud of our team’s performance tonight,” Berson said. “They responded to the hard work this week during practice. Lehigh is a very difficult team to break down, they are very organized, very methodical and they have a solid team from front to back, so to score three goals was a very good accomplishment. Again, I’m very proud of the way our players responded tonight and we will build on this and get ready to play a good Jacksonville team on Sunday.”
Arthur led the Gamecock offensive attack with four shots on goal and two tallies to take the team lead with four goals in just five games this season. Junior midfielder Jeff Scannella collected his first goal of the season, while sophomore midfielder Blake Brettschneider, junior defender Mario Burstein and junior forward Bryan Lowder each contributed one assist in the Gamecock victory.
Maurer played a flawless contest in net for Carolina. He collected four saves to earn his second shutout of the season and seventh of his career. Lehigh counterpart Jonathan Nydell allowed three goals, while earning six saves for the Mountain Hawks.
Carolina dominated the pace of play throughout the entire 90 minutes. After trading possessions early in the opening half, Arthur gave the Gamecocks a 1-0 advantage at the 13-minute mark. After a deflected ball sailed high in the air towards the net, Arthur battled the Lehigh keeper to put the ball in the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
It didn’t take long for Arthur and the Gamecocks to strike again, when just two minutes after his first tally, Arthur connected on a well-placed cross from Burstein to extend the Carolina lead to 2-0. Streaking down the left sideline, Burstein crossed the ball to Arthur who headed the pass into the far corner of the net past a diving Nydell for the Carolina goal.
The lead held through the halftime intermission before rough play followed in the opening minutes of the second half on both sides of the pitch. South Carolina continued to pepper the Mountain Hawk defense throughout the half and was able to capitalize on a one-on-one opportunity with eight minutes remaining. Lowder collected the ball 25 yards out from the net where he found the foot of Scannella to cap the victory with the third Gamecock tally of the night. Maurer made two crucial saves late in the game, including a save on a Lehigh free kick opportunity to clinch the shutout.
South Carolina concludes action at the 2008 adidas Gamecock Classic on Sunday, facing Jacksonville at 2:30 p.m. Presbyterian and Lehigh will play in game one of the day at 12 p.m. at Stone Stadium.