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Sept. 28, 2010

Final Stats

Coach Berson Post-Match Interview

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The University of South Carolina men’s soccer team (4-2-1) earned its second road victory in the last four days, defeating Wake Forest (3-4-1), 1-0, on Tuesday evening at Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem. Freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez scored the game winner for South Carolina, his second game-winning tally of the 2010 campaign.

South Carolina held a 5-2 upperhand in shots in the opening half of play, but Wake controlled the offense in the second half, holding an 11-1 advantage in the final 45 minutes of action. Senior forward Sam Arthur tallied three shots in the match, while Baladez also contributed three, including two on goal. Wake Forest was led by Luca Giminez with three shots, while Andy Lubahn and Sam Redmond each contributed two.

In net for South Carolina, senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer played exceptional on the night, collecting seven saves, including six in the second half. It marked Maurer’s fourth shutout of the season and the 23rd of his Gamecock career. Demon Deacon counterpart Akira Fitzgerald collected two saves in the loss.

It took just six minutes for South Carolina to score in the match on a scuffle inside the Demon Deacon six-yard box. After a combination pass between Arthur and Hunter Howayeck brought the ball into the Gamecock offensive third, Baladez collected a deflected cross off a Wake Forest defender and sent a strike to the far post past Fitzgerald for the 1-0 South Carolina upperhand.

Back and forth play followed with each team earning its chances on frame. Wake Forest attempted consecutive corner kicks midway through the half, before South Carolina earned a free kick just outside the Demon Deacon 18-yard box at the 24-minute mark. Freshman midfielder Chipper Root touched the ball to Arthur, who hit a well-placed strike past the Wake Forest defense but just wide of goal to hold the score at 1-0.

The Gamecocks continued to press the Deacon defense. With 13 minutes remaining in the half, South Carolina countered after a Wake Forest free kick. Following a goal kick by Maurer, Morrissey collected the ball just beyond midfield and sent an arching pass over the Demon Deacon defense to Baladez. After his first shot was blocked by a Wake Forest defender, Baladez hit a half-volley that was saved by Fitzgerald. Root hit a shot on the rebound, again deflected by the Deacon defenders, to hold the one-goal Gamecock upperhand.

Wake Forest looked to even the match with just over 35 minutes remaining in the contest. Lubahn connected with Gimenez in front of the South Carolina net, which drew Maurer off his line for the empty net. Midfieler Kyle Emerson found the ball at his feet and hit a shot into the Carolina net, however, the goal was called back due to an offsides penalty by the Demon Deacons.

Maurer played stellar in net for Carolina down the stretch, collecting six saves in the second half, including three within a 90 second span with just over 20 minutes remaining. Wake controlled the majority of offense the remainder of the match, but South Carolina’s defensive line of Will Traynor, Evan O’Dell, Mike Mangotic and Danny Cates joined forces with Maurer to collect the shutout victory.

South Carolina begins Conference USA action when it hosts UAB on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Stone Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m.