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Sept. 24, 2011

Final Stats

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Behind three goals in a 14-minute span, the South Carolina men’s soccer team (3-4-1, 1-0-0 C-USA) earned a thrilling 3-2 comeback win on the road at Memphis (5-2-1, 0-1-0 C-USA) on Saturday in the Conference USA opener for both schools. Sophomore midfielder Chipper Root netted the game winner for Carolina, while sophomore forward Bradlee Baladez and freshman midfielder Braeden Troyer each tallied a score in the victory.

“Our team played great tonight,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. “To come from behind on the road against a conference opponent and to score three goals in the last 20 minutes to win the game is an outstanding accomplishment.

“Three points are hard to get in C-USA play on the road, and I’m tremendously proud of our guys’ effort tonight. We have played a very difficult schedule, and that prepared us for the monumental effort it took tonight to get this win and I’m very proud of the guys for keeping their focus, believing in themselves and getting the win.”

Memphis held a 17-12 advantage in shots in the match, while both teams posted five shots on goal. Baladez tallied his second goal on the year, Troyer his third and Root posted his first tally of the season. Junior defenders Mike Mangotic and Eric Martinez each collected an assist in the match.

Gamecock netminder Alex Long collected three saves, while Memphis counterpart Conor Hurley earned two. The Tigers were led in the match by Mark Sherrod, who tallied both Memphis goals. Liam Collins collected two assists, and Jordan Johnson earned an assist as well.

Memphis took a 2-0 lead after goals in the 35th and 49th minutes of the match. Sherrod’s first tally came on a strike to the right side of frame, and the second a header on a cross by Johnson.

Baladez gave South Carolina its first goal on an assist by Mangotic in the 73rd minute. Troyer followed with an unassisted tally in the 85th minute and Root scored the game winner exactly one minute later. Root collected a header pass from Martinez, and beat Hurley with a strike for the 3-2 Gamecock win. The score was the first game winner of Root’s career.

South Carolina continues Conference USA action when it hosts Tulsa in a Gamecock men’s and women’s soccer doubleheader on Friday, Sept. 30. The women’s team will host Kentucky at 6 p.m., followed by the Gamecock men’s team versus Tulsa at 8:30 p.m.