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Oct. 12, 2011

Final Stats

By Ryan Pederson
South Carolina Student Assistant

October 12, 2011
Team 1st 2nd OT 2OT Total
SMU 1 1 0 1 3
South Carolina 1 1 0 0 2
Coach Berson

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (5-5-1, 3-1-0) suffered a 3-2 loss against SMU (7-4-1, 2-1-1 C-USA) in a double overtime thriller at Stone Stadium on Wednesday night.

South Carolina showed solid possessing of the ball the entire night and created multiple offensive chances for themselves, but were unlucky in the result. The Gamecocks outshot the Mustangs 22-15, putting ten of their shots on goal. Sophomore Bradlee Baladez collected six shots for the Gamecocks on the night and netted his fifth goal of the year. Senior midfielder Stephen Morrisey also joined in the offensive effort, picking up his fourth goal of the year.

South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said of the match “I think our guys played tremendously tonight. We came from behind again. I thought we had the game winner. Obviously it is a difficult turn of events. First the turn of events regarding the stoppage which was very long, and then secondly a tough decision resulting in the free kick. The team certainly played well tonight. That is what you can expect when South Carolina and SMU get together. It is our first loss in the conference, but we are going to get ready for a very good Marshall team on Saturday. Marshall is a great team and we have to pick ourselves up in a short period of time and get ready to compete again on Saturday night.”

The offensive barrage started early, as ten minutes into the match, SMU goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra took a short goal kick intended for his centerback that Baladez intercepted. Baladez took a touch into the box, and Ibarra quickly reacted to make a diving save to keep the Gamecocks from striking first.

South Carolina would have another scoring chance quickly after at the 15-minute mark off of a corner kick. After the ball was swung into the box, South Carolina regrouped and set up senior Danny Cates for a cross into the box that was touched by Mike Mangotic. The junior forward passed to Morrisey who ripped a right footed shot off of the outside of his foot that flew just wide of the right post.

Despite the strong, early effort from the Gamecocks, the Mustangs struck first, as senior defender Diogo de Almeida netted his second goal of the year in the 17th minute. Almeida hit the shot on his first touch after a deflection out by the Gamecock defense.

However, it did not take long for South Carolina to pull even, as Morrisey knocked in his fourth goal of the year in the 24th minute. The ball was lofted in by Cates in the shallow midfield and was deflected off of Ibarra’s hands, falling a yard from Morrisey, who powered it home. Cates almost put the Garnet and Black on top to finish the half. With seconds remaining in the first period, Cates took a high lofted free kick from 45 yards out that was barely deflected over the bar by the Mustang keeper.

The Gamecocks had another scoring opportunity in the 63rd minute as Baladez deflected a Mustang clearance at the edge of the offensive third. The Gamecocks’ leading scorer collected the ball and beat the Mustang defender to the edge of the six-yard box, but put the offensive effort just wide of the near post.

South Carolina took the lead in the 84th minute on a goal by Baladez. Cates struck a beautiful through ball, releasing Mangotic into the right corner. Mangotic ran the ball down and quickly collected to work his way back towards the top of the 18-yard box. Mangotic fired a ball to the far post that was brought down by Baladez who controlled it and turned around to hit a shot into the corner of the net to put the Gamecocks on top late in regulation.

The 88th minute brought on another goal for the Mustangs. SMU’s leading scorer Arthur Ivo won a penalty within the 18-yard box that he converted to draw the match even at 2-2.

The match would head to overtime, where in the second extra period, Ivo struck a free kick just outside of the 18-yard box over the wall and gave the Mustangs the 3-2 win.

South Carolina continues Conference USA play on Saturday when it hosts Marshall at 7 p.m.