Aug 24, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s soccer team wrapped up its preseason schedule tonight at Stone Stadium with its second win in the past week by defeating Elon 2-0 in a physical match that produced 35 fouls.
“The first half, I thought, went really well. I was pleased with our play. We lost our concentration near the end of the half, which is to be expected at this time of the season as we’re still getting used to the rhythm against a good opponent. In the second half, I didn’t think we found our rhythm as well as we did in the first half. You can credit Elon with that; I thought they played well. In the end, closing out a 2-0 win against a good opponent is a solid result,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said of the win.
The Garnet and Black got on the board quickly as sophomore midfielder Jeffrey Torda hit a low strike to the far post in the fourth minute. Redshirt junior midfielder Stephen Anderson floated a thrown-in to junior forward Asa Kryst outside the right corner of the top of the box. The midfielder slotted a ball to an open Torda who calmly found the back of the net.
With the early lead, the Gamecocks amped up their pressure sending one cross after another into Elon’s box. Anderson tallied his second assist of the night as he hit a liner eight yards from goal that senior J.P Rafferty got on the end of. The midfielder rose up and struck a powerful header under the crossbar past Phoenix goalkeeper Nathan Dean. Rafftery’s tally was his second shot on goal of the night, which tied for the team lead with Torda.
With just under five minutes remaining in the half, Elon nearly got one back as senior midfielder Daniel Lovitz hit a hard curling shot toward the far post, but Gamecock keeper Robert Beebe was able to punch the attempt out of play.
Just before halftime, Carolina junior Hunter Wyer was sent off after being shown consecutive yellow cards within seconds of one another. With it being an exhibition match, coaches opted to continue playing the game at 11v11 for the remainder of the match.
Elon’s best opportunity of the night came in the 61st minute as sophomore Nathan Diehl took a low, hard shot that Beebe was only able to knock away. Fellow Phoenix sophomore James Brace pounced on the rebound, but the attempt was knocked out of play as junior Braeden Troyer slid in to stop a certain goal and help preserve the shutout for the Gamecocks.
Beebe finished the game with four saves as he played all 90 minutes, recording his second shutout of the preseason.
The Gamecocks will open the regular season Aug. 30 against East Tennessee State at 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium.
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).