Oct. 4, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team began Conference USA play on Sunday with an impressive 3-1 victory over Central Florida at the UCF Track and Soccer Complex in Orlando. The victory improves Carolina’s overall record to 5-3-1, with a 1-0-0 mark in C-USA play, while the Knights fall to 3-4-2, 0-2-2 in league action.
“I’m very proud of our team’s effort today,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “We were down 1-0 and came back to win 3-1 on the road in a very important conference match. The conditions were difficult as well, it was very hot today, and I thought our team showed a lot of character and poise in coming back and earning the win. UCF is a good team and that makes this win even more important. For us, this is the end of a five-game road swing. It was 3,100 miles and five games, and we finished on a strong note. Now we have a very quick turnaround to get ready for our game against Furman on Wednesday night.”
Central Florida held a 19-10 shot advantage over South Carolina in the match, with three of those Carolina shots resulting in goals. Junior striker Sam Arthur posted three shots and tallied two goals, including the game winner, while senior forward Bryan Lowder added a goal, his first of the season for the Gamecocks. All three Carolina goals were unassisted. UCF midfielder Yaron Bacher tallied a game high seven shots and scored the lone Central Florida goal in the contest.
South Carolina goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer played a stellar game in net, collecting six saves, while allowing one goal. Central Florida goalkeeper Shawn Doyle collected two saves in the loss.
Bacher scored in the fifth minute on a shot that beat Maurer at the far post, but the remainder of the half belonged to South Carolina. Arthur evened the match at 1-1 in the 12th minute on a penalty kick after a foul on junior forward Mike Lindsay inside the 18-yard box. Just three minutes later, Carolina capitalized on yet another penalty kick opportunity, as Arthur scored his second PK within a five-minute span for a 2-1 South Carolina lead.
Both teams had opportunities throughout the half, and Lowder tallied another Carolina goal in the 37th minute on a shot from the top of the box that deflected past the UCF goalkeeper. Carolina held UCF to just one shot the remainder of the half to hold the 3-1 lead through halftime.
Central Florida sparked offensive momentum early in the second half, as the Knights attempted seven shots against just one by Carolina in the first seven minutes of the half. Maurer collected three saves in the stretch and UCF continued to pepper the Gamecock defense the remainder of the half, but Carolina held strong to secure the 3-1 conference victory.
South Carolina returns home to host non-conference foe Furman on Wednesday, October 7 after playing its last five contests on the road. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium.