Sept. 27, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind a season-high 22 shots and four different Gamecock scorers, the South Carolina men’s soccer team (5-3-1) collected a 4-0 shutout victory over Davidson (1-7-1) on Saturday in non-conference play at Stone Stadium in Columbia. Junior midfielder Jeff Scannella, sophomore defender Will Traynor, sophomore striker Sam Arthur and senior forward Kevan Hawkins each contributed one goal for Carolina. South Carolina finishes its non-conference schedule with a 5-3-1 record, as Conference USA league action begins next week for the Gamecocks.
“Our team played with the enthusiasm and the drive today that we need all season,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “We played wide-open attacking soccer, we had players running forward into excellent attacking positions and we kept the ball. I’m very pleased with that aspect of our play, that’s something that we’ve worked hard on this year and it’s good to see it come into focus right now. We just need to keep consistent, and that starts with having two good halves, and we did that today. This is a young team, our lineup is full of underclassmen, so this is still a young squad and we’ve had to shuffle players around due to injuries, and that has kept us from being consistent as well. Again, I’m very pleased with the way we played today and now we just need to look forward.”
South Carolina dominated the offensive side of the pitch, posting a season-high 22 shots, including nine on frame. A pair of freshman led the Carolina attack, as Danny Cates and David MacVane each contributed four shots, while Arthur and Hawkins tallied three apiece. Junior striker Bryan Lowder, freshman midfielder Stephen Morrissey and Cates each tallied one assist, while MacVane contributed two for Carolina in the win.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer continued a highly impressive season in net for Carolina. Maurer collected his fifth shutout of the season, matching his total from a year ago. He collected four saves in the contest, while Wildcat netminder Robby Goldsberry tallied five.
Carolina struck early and fast, as Scannella marked the scoreboard in the seventh minute on a strike inside the Wildcat six-yard box. A Cates throw-in landed at the feet of MacVane, who placed a ball through the Davidson defense to Scannella, who finished the strike for the 1-0 advantage.
The Gamecocks continued to press the Wildcat defense, scoring at the 14-minute mark to extend the lead to 2-0. Morrissey headed a loose ball in the Davidson defensive third that deflected off the crossbar to Traynor, who headed the ball home from perfect position in front of the net.
The teams traded possessions early after the halftime intermission before Carolina found the back of the net again at the 59-minute mark. MacVane played a perfectly placed through-ball to Cates, who beat one Wildcat defender and connected with Arthur on a cross two yards off the end line. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Arthur placed the ball past Goldsberry for the third Gamecock tally of the match.
Hawkins capped the 4-0 Carolina victory with his third goal of the season in the 88th minute of the contest. Lowder collected his second assist of the year on the play, sailing past two Davidson defenders and then finding Hawkins who scored from just steps inside the six-yard box.
South Carolina begins Conference USA play next Saturday, hosting Florida International at Stone Stadium. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m.