Oct. 14, 2009
|Coach Berson||Game Winning Goal|
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team battled into double overtime for its second-consecutive contest, defeating Conference USA foe SMU, 3-2, in the 103rd minute on a direct free kick by senior midfielder Jeff Scannella on Wednesday night at Stone Stadium. The win improves South Carolina’s overall record to 7-3-2, including a 2-0-1 mark in C-USA action, while SMU falls to 5-6-1, 1-2-1 in league play. Junior striker Sam Arthur and junior defender Will Traynor also scored a goal for Carolina, while junior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer tallied one save in the victory.
South Carolina held a 15-11 upperhand in shots, led by junior midfielder Blake Brettschneider with four in the match. Arthur added three shots, while Scannella and senior forward Bryan Lowder contributed two. Sophomore midfielder Danny Cates collected his second assist of the season on Traynor’s goal in the 89th minute and Scannella also picked up his second assist of the year on Carolina’s first goal of the match scored by Arthur.
Josue Soto led the Mustang attack with four shots off the bench, while also contributing the first goal of the match. Dane Saintus also registered a goal, while Ian Kalis collected the lone SMU assist.
South Carolina netminder Jimmy Maurer was tested in the match but collected just one save, while SMU goalkeeper Craig Hill tallied three saves, including one in the first overtime period.
After a quiet first half SMU marked the scoreboard just after halftime in the 47th minute. Soto collected a loose ball in the Carolina defensive third and beat two Gamecock defenders before scoring on a low line drive past Maurer to the right side of the net for the 1-0 upperhand.
The SMU lead held until the 85th minute when Arthur scored on a set-piece just outside of the 18-yard box. After an SMU foul, Scannella tapped the ball to Arthur’s left, and the junior striker sent a well-placed shot around the Mustang wall to even the match at 1-1. SMU answered just two minutes later, as Saintus gave the Mustangs a 2-1 lead after connecting on a header past Maurer on a free kick taken by Kalis from 35-yards out.
South Carolina held much of the offensive momentum late in the second half and capitalized in the 89th minute on a corner kick opportunity. Cates lofted a corner into the Mustang six-yard box and Traynor connected on a header that bounced past Hill to even the contest at 2-2 with just over one minute remaining in the match.
Both team’s had their offensive chances in the first of two sudden-death overtime periods. Carolina held a 3-1 upperhand in shots in the first 10 minutes of extra play, but Hill registered a save and South Carolina failed to capitalize on its chances.
South Carolina earned a free kick from 35-yards out after a Mustang foul early in the second overtime period. Several Gamecocks lined up on the SMU 18-yard line ready for the cross, but Scannella hit a perfect shot that bounced past Hill and into the far side netting to capture the 3-2 Gamecock victory. The goal was Scannella’s first game-winner of the season and the seventh game-winning goal of his celebrated Gamecock career.
South Carolina continues conference play when it hosts Kentucky on Saturday. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium.