Oct. 31, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s soccer team (9-5-2, 4-2-1 C-USA) earned a 3-0 shutout win over Memphis (3-11-1, 0-6-1 C-USA) on Sunday at Stone Stadium. With the win, South Carolina has secured a spot in the six-team Conference USA Tournament, hosted by Memphis, Nov. 10-14. South Carolina redshirt-senior midfielder Mark Wiltse earned his first-career game-winning goal in the victory for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina honored its senior class, which includes Sam Arthur, Blake Brettschneider, Mike Lindsay, Jimmy Maurer, Evan O’Dell, Will Traynor and Wiltse, prior to the start of the match in the team’s annual Senior Day celebration.
South Carolina held a 16-11 advantage in shots in the contest, including an 8-4 upperhand in shots on goal. Wiltse, along with freshman midfielder Chipper Root each tallied their first goal of the season, Root’s the first of his college career, while junior defender Danny Cates collected his second goal of the season in the win. Freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez led all players on the field with six shots, including three on goal, while Brettschneider collected his team-leading seventh and eighth assists of the season. Junior midfielder Stephen Morrissey earned his third assist of the 2010 campaign.
South Carolina goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer played 73 minutes of the match in goal, earning four saves, while redshirt-freshman netminder Alex Long played the final 17:06 of the contest to help the Gamecocks secure their eighth team shutout of the season.
Junior midfielder Cody McCoy led the Tigers with three shots in the match, while freshman goalkeeper Martin Hunter collected five saves, playing the entire match in net for Memphis. The Tigers held a 14-10 upperhand in fouls in the contest, with both teams drawing two yellow cards.
South Carolina had several scoring opportunities in the opening half, the first with 36 minutes remaining. Brettschneider collected a long clearance from Traynor in the Memphis six yard-box, but Hunter came off his line to collect the loose ball and hold the contest scoreless. Baladez had three chances in the next eight minutes, sending two headers wide before Hunter collected his first save of the half on a Baladez strike from just outside the 18-yard box with 28 minutes remaining.
Memphis was able to find its offensive rhythm in the middle part of the set, posting three shots, including a wide attempt by McCoy in the 26th minute. South Carolina’s tally came with just over five minutes remaining in the half. Morrissey collected a loose ball in the Tiger defensive third, which he crossed to Brettschneider within the six-yard box. With a defender between him and the goal, Brettschneider sent a pass to Wiltse just beyond the six-yard box, which Wiltse shot towards the far post, past Hunter, for the 1-0 South Carolina upperhand.
The Gamecocks dominated possession in the opening stretch of the second half. Memphis challenged early, with Maurer collecting a point-blank save on a shot by Parker Duncan three minutes into the half to hold the one-goal lead for Carolina. Root’s tally came four minutes later on Brettschneider’s second assist of the match. Deep in the Tiger defensive third, Brettschneider lofted a cross over the Memphis defense to Root, who sent a shot past Hunter to push the Carolina lead to 2-0.
South Carolina continued to hold the majority of possession throughout the half, including Cates’ unassisted goal in the 65th minute. Cates hit a bullet towards frame from 40 yards out, which hit the crossbar and bounced into the goal for the final tally of the match.
South Carolina travels to face Kentucky in the final regular-season contest for both schools in Lexington on Nov. 7. Live stats will be available via GamecocksOnline.com.