Nov. 6, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team (7-5-4, 2-2-3 C-USA) is set to host UCF (6-10-0, 3-4-0) in its final regular-season contest of the season on Friday at Stone Stadium. The Gamecocks will honor their four seniors prior to the 7 p.m. kick off, as Kevan Hawkins, Spencer Lewis, David Smith and Brennan Williams will play their final home game in the Garnet and Black. South Carolina has never lost to UCF, as it holds a 4-0-2 record in the all-time series between the two schools. The teams most recently battled to a 0-0 tie through 110 minutes of double-overtime soccer during the 2007 campaign.
â€¢ South Carolina tied C-USA leader No. 9 Tulsa last weekend, marking the Golden Hurricane’s only non-win of league play this season.
â€¢ The Gamecocks secured advancement to their fourth-consecutive C-USA Tournament, making an appearance in the postseason outing each year they have been in the league.
â€¢ Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer leads C-USA with eight shutouts on the year, the most by a Gamecock goalkeeper since Brad Guzan also recorded eight during the 2003 campaign.
South Carolina will honor its four-member senior class on Friday, as Kevan Hawkins, Spencer Lewis, David Smith and Brennan Williams each don the Garnet and Black for their final regular-season home contest at South Carolina. Each of the four seniors have battled through various injuries this year. Hawkins leads the pack statistically with three goals, while Smith has also contributed one assist this season.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS
UCF has lost five straight matches entering Friday’s match against the Gamecocks. After beginning the C-USA season with consecutive victories over Memphis and Marshall, UCF has managed just one more conference victory, a 1-0 win over UAB in mid-October. Kevan George leads the squad with four goals on the year, while netminder Sean Johnson has collected four shutouts for the Knights.
Six teams have clinched a berth to the C-USA postseason tournament, as Tulsa, Kentucky, South Carolina, Memphis, UCF, Marshall and SMU have each secured a spot in the event. FIU and UAB are currently still battling for the final position. With its 0-0 tie against the Gamecocks, Tulsa clinched the 2008 Conference USA regular-season title, Kentucky will finish second, four teams are currently battling for the third seed, including the Gamecocks, followed by SMU, FIU and UAB.
As a team, South Carolina ranks 12th in save percentage (.859), tied for 22nd in shutout percentage (0.50) and 28th with a 0.77 goals against average in the most recent NCAA statistics (Nov. 3). Individually, Sam Arthur ranks tied for 24th with 1.56 points per game, while he ranks tied for 21st with 0.69 goals per contest. Maurer continues to climb the national charts in save percentage. He ranks 15th this week with a 0.856 mark.