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Sept. 13, 2009

Final Stats

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 25 University of South Carolina men’s soccer team defeated George Mason 1-0 in its final match at the annual adidas Gamecock Classic on Sunday at Stone Stadium. The win improves the Gamecocks’ record to 3-1-0 on the year, while the Patriots fall to 2-2-0. Butler (4-0-0) captured the Classic title with victories over South Carolina and Presbyterian in the two-day event, followed by South Carolina in second, GMU in third and Presbyterian (1-3-0) in fourth place.

South Carolina defender Tyler Ruthven was named the adidas Gamecock Classic Defensive MVP, while Butler’s Boris Gatzky was named the tournament’s offensive MVP. Sophomore midfielder Vance Benson and junior forward Blake Brettschneider were also selected to the All-Tournament Team for South Carolina.

The Gamecocks out-shot the Patriots 16-5 in the contest, South Carolina’s highest shot total on the season. Junior forward Sam Arthur led the Carolina attack with a season-high seven shots, including three on frame, while Benson contributed two. Arthur also earned the assist on the goal, his first of the year. Several Gamecocks added one shot on goal, including Ruthven, who scored the game-winner for Carolina, his first tally of the season.

Gamecock goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected three saves in the match, while Patriot netminder Sean Kelley collected six, while allowing one goal. Maurer’s shutout was his second of the season. George Mason committed 21 fouls, against eight by Carolina who earned three corner kicks to GMU’s two in the match.

South Carolina out-shot George Mason 10-2 in the opening half, led by Arthur with six shots, including two on frame. After the team’s traded possessions early in the half, offensive momentum went to the Gamecocks in the later minutes of the set. An Eric Martinez header was collected by Kelley with 16 minutes remaining and consecutive shots by Arthur went just wide two minutes later, as South Carolina was unable to mark the scoreboard.

The Gamecocks managed to keep possession in their offensive third much of the remainder of the half. With nine minutes left, Arthur sent a strong shot into the hands of Kelley on a free kick outside the Patriot 18-yard box and sophomore midfielder Stephen Morrissey followed with a well-placed strike three minutes later that had Kelley diving to his right side for the save to hold the contest scoreless.

On a Patriot foul with under a minute remaining, South Carolina drew a free-kick opportunity near the GMU 18-yard box. Once again, Arthur sent a strong shot towards the net, which was saved by Kelley and deflected to Ruthven, who hit a one-time shot from the far post for the deciding 1-0 Carolina upperhand.

Both team’s had their offensive chances in the second half, but Carolina continued to control the majority of the offensive momentum. The Gamecocks out-shot GMU 6-3 in the half and the Carolina defense held strong to secure the shutout.

GMU’s Parker Walton had two shots in the second half that Maurer saved, and Benson contributed a shot late in the half, but neither team was able to capitalize on its opportunities in the final 45 minutes of play.

South Carolina continues non-conference play when it travels to Northwestern University next weekend for the Lakeside Classic. The Gamecocks will face tournament host Northwestern and Northern Illinois at the two-day event.

All-Tournament Team
1. Boris Gatzky – Butler
2. Matt Hedges – Butler
3. Kyle VondenBenken – Butler
4. Kyle Pateros – Butler
5. Tyler Ruthven – South Carolina
6. Vance Benson – South Carolina
7. Blake Brettschneider – South Carolina
8. Eric Zuehsow – GMU
9. Richard Edgar – GMU
10. Juan Ocampo – Presbyterian
11. Zach Sinkuler – Presbyterian

Offensive MVP: Boris Gatzky – Butler
Defensive MVP: Tyler Ruthven – South Carolina