Sept. 25, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team earned a 1-0 victory over Charlotte on Saturday evening in non-conference play at Transamerica Field at the Irwin Belk Center in Charlotte. The win improves South Carolina’s record to 3-2-1 on the year, while the 49ers fall to 3-4-0. Senior forward Blake Brettschneider tallied South Carolina’s goal in the contest, unassisted in the 14th minute of action.
“I’m very proud of the way our team played tonight,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “They responded very well this week in practice and worked extremely hard, and they earned this result tonight with their work last week on the practice field. Everyone played exceptionally well, our back four and goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer in the goal were rock solid. This is a good win over a good team on the road and it gives us something to build on moving forward.”
Charlotte held a 20-11 upperhand in shots in the match, including a slight 6-5 advantage in shots on goal. Freshman midfielder Chipper Root led the Carolina attack with four shots, including one on frame, while junior midfielder Stephen Morrissey added three shots and Brettschneider one. Leading the 49ers was midfielder Tyler Gibson with five shots, while forward Rex Jennings contributed three, including two on goal.
Defensively for South Carolina, senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected five saves in the shutout, his third of the season, while 49er counterpart Patrick Eavenson tallied four saves in the one-goal loss.
The match proved physical on both ends, with Carolina holding a 21-16 advantage in fouls, while the Gamecocks earned six yellow cards in the match, compared to four earned by Charlotte.
Charlotte nearly scored the first goal of the match just seconds into the contest. Maurer made a diving save on a shot by Rex to preserve the early shutout. The 49ers held a 3-1 upperhand in shots eight minutes into the match, but South Carolina found its offensive rhythm, with Root sending a shot just wide of frame in the ninth minute for Carolina’s second scoring chance of the match.
Just four minutes later, Brettschneider tallied his second goal of the season to give South Carolina a 1-0 upperhand in the 14th minute. After tracking down a long ball from the Gamecock defensive third, Brettschneider scored from just inside the 49er 18-yard box on a well-placed shot past Eavenson for the Gamecock lead. Morrissey tallied two shots in the final 20 minutes of action, one saved by Eavenson in the 35th minute and another that sailed just high of the crossbar late in the half.
After a brief rain delay that extended the halftime intermission, the pace of play proved much slower in the second half due to field conditions. South Carolina held the offensive momentum early in the half, as Eavenson was forced to collect saves on shots by Morrissey and senior defender Mark Wiltse to hold the score within one. Both teams had their chances in the second half as rain and drizzle continued to fall. Charlotte came on strong in the later stages of the contest, with four-consecutive corner kicks with near six minutes remaining, but the Gamecock defense held for the 1-0 victory.
South Carolina continues non-conference action when it travels to face Wake Forest on Tuesday.