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Aug. 28, 2010

Final Stats

Coach Berson Post-Match Interview

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s soccer team earned a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over intrastate rival College of Charleston on Saturday evening at Stone Stadium in exhibition play. The match marked Carolina’s final exhibition of the 2010 campaign. Freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez scored the game’s tying goal, while freshman midfielder Chipper Root earned the game winner in the 59th minute.

“I was really proud of our guys tonight,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “It was a good opportunity for us to try and improve on our last scrimmage. We worked on some things in the attack and on quickening our play a little bit. Tonight, we played a lot better and created a lot more opportunities.”

South Carolina held a 15-11 advantage in shots in the contest, including a 10-5 upperhand in the second half. Root led the Gamecock attack with four shots, while junior midfielder Stephen Morrissey added three and Baladez, junior midfielder Danny Cates and freshman defender Trevor Hubbard each added two in the Carolina victory. Senior forward Blake Brettschneider, senior defender Mark Wiltse and sophomore defender Eric Martinez each earned an assist in the contest.

Midfielder Sean De Silva led the Charleston offense with four shots, including three on frame. He also scored the lone Cougar goal in the match on an assist from freshman midfielder Ralph Lundy in the 11th minute of the contest.

Defensively for Carolina, goalkeepers Jimmy Maurer and Alex Long once again split time in net, with Maurer handling the first 45 minutes of the contest, earning two saves. Long took position in goal for Carolina in the final half, collecting two saves in the win. College of Charleston counterpart goalkeeper Kees Heemskerk played all 90 minutes in net, collecting a game-high seven saves in the match.

Both teams had their chances early in the first half on the offensive side of the field. College of Charleston capitalized first, scoring in the 11th minute on a corner kick opportunity. Lundy took the corner from the left side and sent a well-placed pass to De Silva 35 yards from net. De Silva hit a bullet towards the Carolina net, hitting the upper left side of frame for the 1-0 Charleston upperhand.

South Carolina failed to capitalize on several chances the remainder of the half, including a Baladez shot that hit the cross bar, and a shot by Hubbard that went just wide. Maurer played stellar in net for Carolina in the opening half, collecting consecutive point-blank saves on shots by De Silva in the 20th minute, and a diving save in the 44th minute to hold the contest at 1-0 entering the half.

The Gamecock offensive surged in the second half, beginning with Baladez’s tally in the 55th minute. Baladez collected a pass from Wiltse and beat one defender before placing the ball past Heemskerk to even the contest at 1-1. Root scored the game winner just four minutes later. Following a Gamecock corner kick, Martinez collected a loose ball in the Cougar 18-yard box and sent a low cross to Root, who scored the go-ahead goal for Carolina.

South Carolina begins the regular season when it hosts Clemson on Sept. 3 at Stone Stadium. The contest will be televised on FOX Soccer Channel, with kick off set for 8 p.m.