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Oct. 4, 2008

Final Stats


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind one goal from each of its sophomore strikers, the South Carolina Gamecocks kicked off their Conference USA campaign with a 2-0 shutout against Florida International in front of a strong crowd at Stone Stadium on Saturday night. The win improves Carolina’s record to 6-3-1, 1-0-0 C-USA, while the Golden Panthers fall to 1-6-2, with a 0-1-0 mark in league action. The duo of Sam Arthur and Blake Brettschneider each tallied one goal for the Gamecocks, while netminder Jimmy Maurer collected five saves to earn his sixth shutout of the year.

“This is a good, solid win in our conference opener,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “I thought we played very well defensively. FIU is a team that is very talented and they are difficult to close down. I thought that our team did a good job, particularly in the second half, of closing some of the spaces that FIU had created in the first half. I thought in the attack we came forward and created a number of good chances and their goalkeeper really did a nice job on the night. We again had a nice balance between a good flowing attack and a solid defensive effort. It’s a solid win for us.”

South Carolina held a 15-7 advantage in shots where Brettschneider and freshman midfielder Danny Cates led the Carolina attack with three each, while Arthur and Brettschneider each tallied two shots on frame. Junior midfielder Jeff Scannella collected his second assist of the season on the evening’s opening score, while Arthur and Cates each contributed an assist on the final Carolina tally.

Maurer paced the Gamecock defense, collecting five saves, including three in the first half, to lead South Carolina to its sixth shutout of the season in just the 10th Gamecock match. With the shutout, Maurer sets his career mark, as he tallied five shutouts last season in 19 contests during his rookie campaign.

Juan Guerra led the Golden Panther attack with five shots, including three on frame, while freshman goalkeeper Jesse Fullerton collected six saves in net.

Both teams were slow to start on the offensive side of the pitch during the opening few minutes of the contest. South Carolina was unable to finish on several chances within the Golden Panther defensive third, including a point-blank header from Cates midway through the set.

The 0-0 stalemate held through the halftime intermission but it didn’t take long for Carolina’s first strike in the 48th minute of the match. Scannella split two FIU defenders, passing a through ball to Arthur, who sent a bullet towards the net, earning the deflection off an FIU defender to give the Gamecocks a 1-0 advantage. The score was Arthur’s team-leading 10th of the year.

Both teams had several offensive chances throughout the half, but Carolina would be the only squad to capitalize on its chances. Brettschneider capped the 2-0 victory with his third goal of the season in the 67th-minute. Arthur settled a cross from Cates on the right side and connected with Brettschneider for the final Carolina tally.

South Carolina travels to face No. 25 SMU in a highly anticipated Conference USA matchup on Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Dallas, Texas. Match time is set for 8 p.m. ET.