Sept. 14, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind Sam Arthur’s second straight multi-goal performance, the South Carolina men’s soccer team clinched the 2008 adidas Gamecock Classic tournament title with a 2-0 victory over Jacksonville on Sunday. The win improves Carolina’s record to 3-2-1 for the year, while the Dolphins fall to 2-4-0 with the loss. South Carolina finished the weekend atop tournament standings with two victories, followed by Jacksonville, Presbyterian (1-3-1) and Lehigh (3-2-1). Four Gamecocks were honored after the match for their outstanding play during the Classic, goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, defenders Mario Burstein and Will Traynor, and Arthur, who was also the tournament’s offensive MVP, were selected to the All-Tournament team. The Classic title marks the 15th overall tournament win for the Gamecocks in their own invitational.
“This is a good, solid win for our team today,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “Our guys fought hard for 90 minutes to win. I thought Jacksonville played very well and very inspired on the afternoon. Give them credit for a very hard-fought performance today. I thought our team worked hard to grind this win out. I’m pleased with the team and this gives us an opportunity to get some of our players rest this week and prepare for College of Charleston on Friday.”
Jacksonville held a 12-8 advantage on shots in the match, while Carolina tallied three shots on frame against five by the Dolphins. Arthur led the Gamecocks with four shots, including two goals, which marked his team-leading fifth and sixth tallies of the season. While Carolina’s first goal was on a penalty kick, freshman midfielder David MacVane collected his first collegiate assist on the second Gamecock tally, a breakaway in the final minutes of the contest.
Maurer collected five saves in net, including a crucial save in the late minutes of the match to secure his third shutout of the season and eighth of his Gamecock career. Jacksonville goalkeeper Matt Gilman recorded one save.
Jacksonville dominated the early offensive possessions in the opening half of play before Carolina had its first threat of the set at the 19-minute mark. Carolina was awarded a free kick just outside of the 18-yard box where an Arthur shot was blocked by the Dolphin wall. The Gamecocks kept the ball in their offensive third, but were whistled on one of six offsides calls on the day during the transition attack.
Both teams had several offensive possessions the remainder of the first half, as a Jacksonville shot deflected off the crossbar in the 22nd minute and Carolina had three attempted crosses cleared off of the Dolphin goal line late in the set.
Carolina began the second half with a free kick blocked by the Dolphin wall followed by a controversial offsides call on a Jeff Scannella breakaway in the 31st minute of play.
The Gamecocks continued to dominate on both sides of the pitch through the majority of the set and after several failed offensive chances a Jacksonville foul in the box on Scannella propelled Carolina to take the lead. Arthur stepped to the 12-yard hash and connected a on penalty kick in the 91st minute, posting the eventual winning tally for Carolina.
Arthur capped the win with his fourth tally of the weekend in the 87th minute. MacVane split two Dolphin defenders to place a through ball to Arthur who punched the final strike to the back of the net for the deciding 2-0 Carolina win.
South Carolina continues non-conference play when it travels to in-state rival College of Charleston on Friday, Sept. 19, in a match slated to begin at 7 p.m. in Charleston.
The complete all-tournament team is listed below:
1. Sam Arthur, SOUTH CAROLINA
2. Jimmy Maurer, SOUTH CAROLINA
3. Mario Burstein, SOUTH CAROLINA
4. Will Traynor, SOUTH CAROLINA
5. Sebastian Lindholm, JACKSONVILLE
6. STEFAN RUNEMAN, JACKSONVILLE
7. EDDIE MUNNELLY, JACKSONVILLE
8. MICHAEL CZULINSKI, PRESBYTERIAN
9. JAY STEWART, PRESBYTERIAN
10. NEAL MELCHIONNI, LEHIGH
11. LARRY SILVI, LEHIGH
DEFENSIVE MVP: EDDIE MUNNELLY, JACKSONVILLE
OFFENSIVE MVP: Sam Arthur, SOUTH CAROLINA