Nov. 12, 2008
DALLAS, Texas – Three different Gamecock goal scorers led the fifth-seeded South Carolina men’s soccer team past fourth-seeded SMU, 3-0, in the quarterfinal round of the C-USA Tournament on Wednesday night in Dallas at Westcott Field. South Carolina improves to 8-5-5 for the year, while the tournament host Mustangs fall to 10-6-2 and are eliminated from the tournament. Sophomore striker Blake Brettschneider netted the game-winner for Carolina, while junior forward Bryan Lowder and sophomore striker Sam Arthur each contributed one goal in the victory. South Carolina goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected four saves to earn his league-leading ninth shutout of the season. With the win, South Carolina advances to the semifinal round where it will face top-seeded Tulsa (14-3-2), who defeated eighth-seeded UAB, 4-2, in the evening’s earlier session. Match time is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
“I’m very proud of our guys tonight,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “Playing the host team in the featured game of the tournament at night is a difficult draw and our team responded with a tremendous performance. To score three goals on a good team like SMU is a good accomplishment and it was particularly pleasing to get a shutout. Now we turn our attention to Tulsa who is the No. 1 seed in the tournament and a team that has had an outstanding year. We certainly have a difficult task because of the short turn-around time to get ready to play on Friday. Again, I’m very proud of our players and our coaches, this was an excellent win.”
South Carolina out-shot SMU 15-11 in the match, while also holding a 6-4 advantage in shots on frame. Brettschneider, Lowder and sophomore midfielder Josh Stewart each tallied three shots in the contest. Brettschneider’s tally was his sixth of the season and first game winner, Lowder scored his second goal in as many games and Arthur contributed his league-leading 12th tally of the season in the Carolina victory.
Maurer collected his ninth shutout of the season, a league lead in both individual and team standings. He collected four saves in the match, while SMU counterpart Craig Hill tallied three. Diogo de Almeida and Paulo da Silva led the Mustangs with three shots.
Brettschneider netted the game winner unassisted in the 24th minute, as a deflection off an SMU defender on a free kick opportunity gave South Carolina the lead. Lowder extended the Gamecock advantage in the final minute of the half, scoring on a breakaway from 14 yards out to send Carolina into the halftime intermission with a 2-0 upperhand.
After the teams traded possession early on in the second half, Arthur capped the Carolina victory with a goal in the 77th minute off an assist from defender Will Traynor just inside the SMU 18-yard box. Arthur flicked the ball over Hill for the deciding 3-0 Gamecock victory.
South Carolina will face top-seeded Tulsa on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET at Westcott Field in the tournament’s semifinal round. Live stats will be available via www.GamecocksOnline.com.