Sept. 2, 2011
CLEMSON, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s soccer team (0-2-0) suffered a 2-0 loss on the road at Clemson (1-1-0) on Friday in non-conference action at Riggs Field. The loss broke a streak of four-consecutive wins by the Gamecocks in the series.
“I thought we did very well as far as attacking” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “I thought the adjustments we made when we went a man down were good. The whole game was played in their half. The (Clemson) goalkeeper made two electrifying saves, great saves, that either of them would have tied the game; two would have put us ahead.
Right at the end you have a situation in what looks like a hand ball in the box, which could give you a penalty, and that is not called and then there is a counter on the other end and they score. That’s how the game goes sometimes. On a night where nothing really went our way as far as the red card, a number of different things, our guys showed a lot of class, a lot of character. I’m very proud of them.
“Real disappointed in the loss. We’ve beat them four years in a row; this is one out of five. We’re not happy with it because it’s the last one.”
South Carolina held a 14-4 edge in shots, including a 4-3 upperhand in shots on goal. Freshman midfielder Braeden Troyer led the Gamecock attack with four shots, while sophomore forward Bradlee Baladez added three.
Clemson was led by a pair of freshman in midfielder Ben Myers who tallied the game winner, and forward Amadou Dia with the second Tiger goal. Senior forward Nick Burton earned an assist on Dia’s tally.
Gamecock goalkeeper Alex Long collected one save, while Tiger netminder Cody Mizell collected four.
After a fast-paced start to the game on both ends, with both team’s having their chance at frame, Clemson earned a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute on an unassisted tally by Myers. Myers collected the ball just outside of the Gamecock 18-yard box and scored on a low shot into the corner.
Troyer hit a shot towards Mizell midway through the half and Baladez hit an attempt wide minutes later but the Gamecocks were unable to capitalize for the score.
The team’s traded possession before Clemson built an attack out of its defensive third with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half. Central defender Riley Sumpter dribbled through midfield before connecting with Burton down the left side. Burton took one touch towards goal before Carolina defender Mike Mangotic halted the threat with a clearance over the sideline.
Carolina looked for the equalizer late in the half when senior defender Danny Cates sent a long throw-in within the Tiger six-yard box, which was redirected by Baladez to Stam at the far post. Stam’s header sailed slightly over the cross bar to hold the score at 1-0.
Quick ball movement out of the Gamecock defensive third saw Mangotic with a shot on goal in the 50th minute. Carolina held possession through midfield and used one-touch passes to move the ball to Mangotic steps outside of the 18-yard box. Mangotic took a step past a Tiger defender, but his shot founds the hands of Mizell.
South Carolina continued to battle for the equalizer. Baladez took a pass in stride from freshman forward Snoopy Davidson with 30 minutes remaining in the second half and hit a bullet towards frame which Mizell redirected on a diving save over the crossbar. The Gamecocks followed with back-to-back corner kick opportunities, but the Tiger defense was able to clear the area.
Cates was issued his second yellow of the match and subsequent red card in the 60th minute, forcing the Gamecocks to play with 10 players to Clemson’s 11 the remainder of the match.
South Carolina earned a corner after a bouncing shot by Troyer was deflected wide in the 66th minute. Root hit the cross to the far post, which Stam redirected towards Baladez at the edge of the six-yard box. Baladez connected for the header, but the attempt bounced off the top of the cross bar and was cleared towards midfield.
South Carolina looked to have a sure goal with just over 11 minutes remaining in regulation. Senior midfielder Stephen Morrissey bounced a throw-in into the Tiger six-yard box, which found the feet of Troyer who hit a low line drive towards frame. Mizell made a diving save on the strike, which deflected towards freshman midfielder Emmett Lunceford, but his attempt was cleared off the goal line at the last second by a Clemson defender.
The Gamecocks continued to threaten, Davidson had a shot deflected wide for a Carolina corner at the 82nd minute and Troyer had a header over the cross bar on the cross, but Clemson pushed the lead to 2-0 on a tally by Dia at the 85:17 mark. Burton sent a long clearance over midfield to Dia who hit a low strike past Long towards the far post for the score.
South Carolina out-shot Clemson 9-2 in the second half.
South Carolina continues non-conference action when it hosts Charlotte on Tuesday, Sept. 6, in the 2011 home opener at Stone Stadium. Live stats and free live video for the match will be available via GamecocksOnline.com.
Season tickets for men’s soccer, which includes admission to all home games, are currently on sale in the Gamecock Ticket Office. Fans can purchase tickets online at GamecocksOnline.com, or by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS. Cost for season tickets for men’s soccer is $25 for adults and $10 for youth (17 and under).