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Oct. 31, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team travels to face Conference USA leader No. 9 Tulsa on Saturday in league action from the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium. Carolina owns a 7-5-3 overall mark, with a 2-2-2 record in conference play, while Tulsa is 12-3-1 overall and 7-0 in league play. The Gamecocks currently sit in lone possession of fifth place in the conference standings with eight points, while Tulsa leads the way with 21. The Golden Hurricane lead the all-time series between the two schools with a slight 3-2-0 upperhand.

Following a three-game winless streak, South Carolina has responded in its last two contests, defeating Marshall 1-0 and collecting a 1-1 draw against UAB to earn three crucial points towards the conference tournament race. Eight out of the nine Conference USA teams advance to the tournament, which will be hosted by SMU in Dallas, Texas, this season.

Sophomore sensation Sam Arthur paces the Gamecock offense with 11 goals this season, followed by classmate Blake Brettschneider who tallied the equalizer against UAB to collect his fifth goal of the year, a career high for the sophomore striker. Senior forward Kevan Hawkins and junior midfielder Jeff Scannella have contributed three and two goals, respectively, for the Carolina offense, while freshman midfielder Stephen Morrissey and sophomore defender Will Traynor have each tallied one goal this season.

Sophomore netminder Jimmy Maurer has been the heart of the Gamecock defensive effort this season. Maurer has collected seven shutouts, including a string of three straight in mid-September. He owns a 0.83 goals against average, which ranks second among C-USA goalkeepers, while he also ranks 16th in this week’s NCAA statistics (games through Oct. 26) with a .848 save percentage, which is tops among league netminders.

Tulsa enters the match having posted 10 straight victories, including a perfect 7-0 mark in Conference USA, and will be competing for the Conference USA regular-season championship. TU has out-scored its opponents 29-5 and has tallied five shutouts in the last 10 games.

Following its match at Tulsa, South Carolina returns home to conclude the regular season hosting UCF on Nov. 7 at Stone Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m., with Senior Day festivities planned prior to kickoff.