Sept. 4, 2009
CLEMSON, S.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team (2-0) defeated archrival Clemson (0-2) 1-0 on Friday evening in a match in front of a strong crowd at Riggs Field in Clemson. Junior striker Sam Arthur tallied the game winner for the Gamecocks on a double-assist from junior forward Mike Lindsay and sophomore midfielder Stephen Morrissey. The win marks the third-consecutive shutout victory for South Carolina over Clemson, dating back to a 1-0 double-overtime victory at Riggs Field in 2007.
Despite the loss, Clemson posted 19 shots compared to 10 by the Gamecock offense. Arthur led the attack with four shots, while senior midfielder Jeff Scannella contributed three. Junior forward Blake Brettschneider, classmate Will Traynor and senior Mario Burstein each registered one shot for Carolina in the match. Clemson’s Tommy Drake, Eric Cava and Nathan Thornton each contributed three shots in the loss.
Both teams played aggressively throughout the 90 minutes of play, as the Tigers drew 15 fouls, while Carolina committed 13. Both teams drew four yellow cards in the match.
South Carolina goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer played a stellar match in net, collecting three saves, including two in the second half. Tiger counterpart Joseph Bendik collected three saves, while allowing one goal.
Both teams had several opportunities at the net in the first half, as the Gamecocks tallied six shots on goal, while the Tigers added 10. South Carolina’s first solid threat in the opening half came in the sixth minute on a free kick in the Clemson defensive third. Sophomore midfielder Danny Cates placed a chip inside the Tiger six-yard box, which deflected to the foot of Traynor whose shot beat the keeper but skimmed the goalpost and was cleared by the Tiger defense.
Both teams played aggressively the entire length of the field, evidenced by two yellow cards 10 minutes into the match, as Clemson’s Connor Barbaree and Scannella earned warnings within minutes of each other.
South Carolina controlled the majority of play on its offensive end early in the opening half. The Gamecocks drew a free kick and a corner in the 13th minute, and Scannella punched a shot just wide in the 16th minute, but the score remained 0-0.
Clemson’s best opportunity came with 27 minutes remaining in the half. Maurer collected a save on a strong shot off the foot of Clemson’s Tommy Drake, and the Gamecock defense was able to clear the ball after a deflection on the save.
The teams settled and traded offensive possessions, before South Carolina capitalized on a golden opportunity in the 35th minute. Lindsay dribbled down the left-hand side past two Tiger defenders before finding Morrissey open in the center of the field. Morrissey faced the goal and slid a perfect one-time pass to Arthur who sent a strike below the out-stretched hands of Bendik for the 1-0 Gamecock upperhand.
Following the halftime break, both teams took the field looking for an offensive rhythm. Maurer saved an early Tiger opportunity, and a pass back to the Clemson goalkeeper in the 50th minute almost resulted in a Brettschneider goal. Bendik left his line and made a sliding save on Brettschneider’s shot to hold the score at 1-0.
With 31 minutes remaining, Clemson’s Nick Burton attempted a strike on net, which was blocked by Traynor. On the deflection, Burton crossed the ball to Cava whose shot missed just inches to the right side of the far goalpost.
A Clemson foul drew yellow cards for both sides with 24 minutes remaining in the match. On the Carolina free kick, Bendik was forced to make a diving save over the head of two Carolina attackers to keep Clemson one-goal back.
On the transition, Drake failed to connect on a shot just in front of the Carolina net, but the Tigers drew their ninth corner kick of the match. On the kick, the corner was cleared by the Gamecock defense to just outside the 18-yard box. A waiting Clemson defender collected the ball and sent a cross to Francklin Blaise steps inside the Carolina six-yard box. Blaise sent a shot towards the net, which hit the goalpost and deflected out of play.
In the 79th minute, Brettschneider had a clear breakaway to the net, but a foul by Clemson’s Riley Sumpter halted his momentum. On the ensuing free kick from 30 yards out, Arthur sent a bullet towards the goal, but Bendik was there for the save.
South Carolina continues non-conference play when its hosts the annual adidas Gamecock Classic, Sept. 11-13, at Stone Stadium. Butler, George Mason and Presbyterian will also participate in the two-day event.