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Dec. 17, 2010

Coach Berson’s Season Recap

The South Carolina men’s soccer team enjoyed a highly-successful 2010 campaign, capped by a trip to the NCAA Tournament and earning the 2010 Conference USA Tournament title. Below is a season recap.

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Carolina Quick Hits
– South Carolina concluded its 33rd year of varsity soccer with a 13-7-2 record and final regular season ranking of No. 12 in the NSCAA Top 25 Poll.
– Head coach Mark Berson is the only head men’s soccer coach in school history. He concluded his 33rd season at Carolina with a mark of 430-175-58 and a 34-year career record of 441-180-58 (spent one season at The Citadel prior to appointment at South Carolina).
– Berson ranks as the NCAA Division I active winningest coach with 441 career wins.
– South Carolina’s appearance in the 2010 NCAA Tournament was its 19th overall.
– South Carolina advanced to the 2010 NCAA Tournament as the automatic bid from Conference USA.
– The Gamecocks won the 2010 Conference USA Tournament. The tournament title marked the second for Carolina in its six-year history competing in the league. The Gamecocks also won the 2005 event.
– After 2010 tournament action, Carolina owns an all-time record of 16-19 in NCAA Tournament contests, including an 11-11 mark in games played at Stone Stadium.
– South Carolina’s 13 wins in 2010 marked the most in a season since posting 16 wins during the 1998 campaign.
– South Carolina collected a 3-5-0 record in road contests in 2010 with victories at Charlotte, Wake Forest and then-No. 5 Tulsa.
– The Gamecocks were 4-0 in neutral site contests in 2010, posting wins vs. Yale, UAB, then-No. 5 SMU and then-No. 25 Tulsa.
– South Carolina’s 10 shutouts in 2010 tied for fifth-most in a single season in Gamecock history, and were the most since the 1990 season.
– Carolina was 4-1 against ACC teams in 2010, with wins vs. Clemson, at Wake Forest, vs. NC State and vs. then-No. 24 Duke. The lone Gamecock loss to a team from the league came in a 1-0 decision vs. then-No. 4 North Carolina, who advanced to the 2010 College Cup.
– In the Conference USA team statistics, South Carolina finished the season ranked second in shots (318) and saves (89), and first in shutouts (10).
– Senior forward Blake Brettschneider led South Carolina in goals (7), assists (10) and points (24) in 2010. He also scored three game-winning goals on the year, inluding the game winner over archrival Clemson. Brettschneider concluded his time in the Garnet and Black with 19 career goals and 17 assists.
– Senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer concluded his Gamecock career with a 1.05 goals against average in 7,284:12 minutes played in the Garnet and Black. His 28 career shutouts rank second all-time in South Carolina history.
– Senior defender Will Traynor, a mainstay in the starting lineup throughout his Gamecock career, enjoyed a banner year in 2010, scoring a career high six goals, while adding one assist. Traynor entered the 2010 campaign with four career goals. He was part of nine team shutouts in games he played in during the 2010 season.
– Freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez made his mark on the national soccer scene with six goals, including five game winners during his rookie season. Baladez posted game winners vs. Yale, at Wake Forest, vs. UAB, vs. NC State and vs. then-No. 25 Duke in the NCAA Tournament.
– True freshman J.P. Rafferty and junior midfielder Stephen Morrissey collected assists on Baladez’s game winner over Duke in NCAA Tournament play on Nov. 21. It was the first of Rafferty’s career, while Morrissey’s was his fifth of the season.
– 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.
Will Traynor, Blake Brettschneider, Stephen Morrissey and Kevin Stam were each named to the Conference USA All-Tournament team.

Postseason Recap
– Carolina earned a 2-1 win over UAB in the quarterfinal round of the C-USA Tournament on Nov. 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.
– A 3-1 loss to Michigan in the Round of 16 ended South Carolina’s season and its NCAA Tournament run in 2010. Senior midfielder Sam Arthur scored the lone Gamecock goal, his first of the season.

Trio Named ESPN Academic All-Americans
South Carolina senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was named to the ESPN Academic All-America First Team and senior forward Blake Brettschneider and senior defender Will Traynor were named to the third team. The honor is the second of Maurer’s career and the first for both Brettschneider and Traynor.

Did You Know?
The Gamecocks were 10-1-1 in contests in which they scored first in 2010, while the team was also 4-1-1 when leading at the half. South Carolina scored in the opening half in nine contests in 2010.

C-USA Awards Announced
Five Gamecocks garnered All-Conference USA honors on Nov. 9, highlighted by senior forward Blake Brettschnider being selected as the Co-MVP and Co-Offensive Player of the Year. Brettschneider was also selected to the first team all-conference squad, where classmate Will Traynor, who was named one of the top defenders in the league, joined him. Senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was selected to the second team, freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez was selected to the third team and the All-Freshman squad, and freshman midfielder Chipper Root also earned a spot on the All-Freshman team. The five selections for the Gamecocks are the most since the 2008 campaign, while the MVP and Offensive MVP awards collected by Brettschneider are the first in South Carolina’s six years competing in the league.

Gamecocks Earn Academic Honor From NSCAA
The South Carolina men’s soccer team earned the NSCAA’s (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Team Academic Award, while also being the national leader in team GPA for the 2009-10 school year with a 3.49 cumulative team GPA. With its outstanding performance in the classroom, South Carolina leads the other 200 Division I men’s programs in the country in the academic award category.

Conference USA Players Of The Week
Freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez twice earned Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the Co-Offensive honor on Oct. 4 after scoring the game winner in both of South Carolina’s matches, a 1-0 win at Wake Forest, and a 3-2, come-from-behind win over UAB in the Conference USA opener for Carolina. He picked up his second honor on Oct. 18 after scoring the game winner in South Carolina’s 1-0 win over NC State, while also earning a tally in the Gamecocks’ 1-1 tie versus UCF.

Senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer earned the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week award three times this season, which marked the ninth weekly honor of his career, the most for a single player in C-USA history. He earned Co-Defensive honors on Sept. 7 after earning a shutout in a 2-0 win over Clemson in the season opener. He added his second honor of the season after a 1-0 road win at Charlotte, and his third after a 1-0 win over NC State and a 1-1 tie vs. UCF in C-USA action.

Wiltse Earns First Career Game Winner
South Carolina redshirt-senior midfielder Mark Wiltse earned the first game-winning goal of his career, earning the tally in the Gamecocks’ 3-0 win over Memphis on Senior Day on Oct. 31. Wiltse, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2009 season opener vs. Charlotte, has three goals during his college career.