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Nov. 27, 2010

Coach Berson Previews Michigan

The 18th-ranked and No. 7 seed South Carolina men’s soccer team (13-6-2) is set to host No. 19 and No. 10 seed Michigan (15-4-3) in the Round of 16 in the 2010 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament on Sunday at Stone Stadium. Game time is set for 2 p.m. for the postseason event.

South Carolina vs. Michigan
2010 NCAA Tournament – Third Round

Date: Sunday, November 28, 2010
Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Stadium: Stone Stadium
Series: First Meeting
Live Stats/Live Video:

NCAA Tournament Central | Game Notes vs. Michigan Get Acrobat Reader | 2010 NCAA Tournament Bracket Get Acrobat Reader

Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina is in its 33rd year of varsity soccer.
– Head coach Mark Berson is the only head men’s soccer coach in school history. He enters Saturday’s NCAA Tournament action with a 430-174-58 all-time record at the school and a 441-179-58 career record (spent one season at The Citadel prior to appointment at South Carolina).
– Entering the 2010 campaign, Berson ranked second among active coaches in victories (428) and eighth among the winningest coaches all-time in Division I history.
– Berson is assisted by Bert Molinary, in his seventh season at South Carolina, and Mike Babst, in his fourth.
– South Carolina advanced to the 2010 NCAA Tournament as the automatic bid from Conference USA.
– South Carolina has advanced to the NCAA Tournament 19 times in its history (including 2010).
– Freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez scored the golden goal for the Gamecocks, propelling Carolina into the Round of 16 with a 1-0 win over Duke last Sunday. It was Baladez’s team-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season, and sixth overall.
– Senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer is just one shutout away from matching Charlie Arndt for the South Carolina school record with 29 career shutouts. Maurer has a C-USA best nine shutouts this season.
– Carolina’s 13 wins this season are the most for the Gamecocks since the 1998 campaign when Carolina collected a 16-5-0 record.
– True freshman J.P. Rafferty and junior midfielder Stephen Morrissey collected assists on Baladez’s game winner over Duke last Sunday. It was the first of Rafferty’s career, while Morrissey’s was his fifth of the season.
– Senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was named to the Team of the Week, and freshman forward Bradlee Baladez was named to the Team of the Week last Monday for their play vs. Duke. Maurer collected six saves vs. the Blue Devils in his ninth shutout of the season.
– Carolina owns an all-time record of 16-18 in NCAA Tournament contests, including an 11-10 mark in games played at Stone Stadium.
– Mark Berson led his team to the College Cup in the 1988 and 1993 seasons. The Gamecocks advanced to the National Championship game in 1993. Virginia earned a 2-0 win over the Gamecocks in that match – held in Davidson, N.C.
– Five Gamecocks garnered All-Conference USA awards in 2010: Blake Brettschneider (Co-MVP, Co-Offensive Player of the Year, First Team), Bradlee Baladez (Third Team, All-Freshman Team), Jimmy Maurer (Second Team), Chipper Root (All-Freshman Team) and Will Traynor (First Team).
– Four Gamecocks earned selection to the C-USA All-Academic Team in Blake Brettschneider, Jimmy Maurer, Stephen Morrissey and Will Traynor.
– In the final NSCAA Top 25 Poll of the season, South Carolina is ranked No. 2 in the South Region and No. 18 in the national top 25 poll.
– South Carolina is ranked No. 7 in the most recent NCAA RPI (Nov. 14).
Will Traynor, Blake Brettschneider, Stephen Morrissey and Kevin Stam were each named to the Conference USA All-Tournament team.

How They Got Here
– Carolina earned a 2-1 win over UAB in the quarterfinal round of the C-USA Tournament on Oct. 10 behind a goal and an assist from senior forward Blake Brettschneider to advance to the semifinals vs. SMU.
– South Carolina earned a 2-1 upset win over top-seeded and No. 5 nationally ranked SMU in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament on Nov. 12 to advance to the finals. Senior defender Will Traynor scored the game winner, his second of the season and sixth goal of the year.
– The Gamecocks earned a 1-0 win over Tulsa to capture the 2010 Conference USA Tournament title. Junior midfielder Stephen Morrissey scored the game winner for Carolina, while senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected his eighth shutout of the season in the win. The win over Tulsa gave the Gamecocks an automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
– Behind a golden goal by freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez and six saves from veteran goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, South Carolina advanced to the Round of 16 with a 1-0 overtime win over Duke on Nov. 21 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Scouting Michigan
– Michigan earned the 2010 Big Ten Tournament title and the automatic bid from the league into the NCAA Tournament. UM’s No. 10 seed is its highest ever, while its appearance in the postseason event is its first since 2008. The Wolverines moved into the Round of 16 with a 2-1 win over UCF last Sunday in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines own a seven-game win streak and have won 11 of their last 13 entering Sunday’s matchup vs. the Gamecocks.
– Freshman forward Soony Saad and senior striker Justin Meram have combined for 31 goals this season, scoring 18 and 13, respectively. Michigan has scored 46 goals this season, compared to 31 by its opponents.
– Senior goalkeeper Chris Blais has played the majority of time in net for the Wolverines this season. He owns a 1.27 goals against average and has collected 87 saves and four shutouts on the year.

Maurer Etches Name In South Carolina Record Book
– With his nine shutouts this season, South Carolina senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer has amassed 28 career shutouts, which places him second all-time in Carolina history in the category, just one shutout away from matching Charlie Arndt for first in South Carolina history in the category.

Did You Know?
– The Gamecocks are 10-1-1 in contests in which they score first this season, while the team is also 4-1-1 when leading at the half. South Carolina has scored in the opening half in nine contests this season.