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Sept. 22, 2013

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – After playing 110 minutes of soccer for the second time in three days, South Carolina (2-4-2) was unable to net a winning goal and tied Dartmouth (3-0-3) in the final match of the 2013 Gamecock Classic at Stone Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

“I’ve got to say our guys laid it on the line this weekend. Against a very good team in South Florida the other night, I thought we played well. I thought it was our most complete game of the year. To go through the overtime and come out to play the second game today, was going to be an uphill climb. Our guys didn’t blink. They pushed on and carried the play all afternoon,” South Carolina head Coach Mark Berson said of his team’s performance. “I’m really proud of the effort. Naturally, we’re disappointed not to get a goal, but overall you have to credit Dartmouth. They are a very good team. They’re undefeated on the year and will contend for the Ivy League title again.”

The Gamecocks were able to create numerous offensive chances, outshooting the Big Green 21-11. Sophomore midfielder Ryan Arambula fired a game-high six shots on the day, and six different Gamecocks put a shot on frame in the match. Junior midfielder Stefan Defregger and junior forward Alex Adlabu led Dartmouth with three shots apiece. South Carolina held an 8-3 corner kick advantage.

Between the posts, freshman Marco Velez recorded his first career shutout, collecting a save. Dartmouth Keeper James Hickok had six saves in the match for the Big Green.

Throughout the match, South Carolina was able to create scoring opportunities. It began early when Arambula and junior defender Mahamoudou Kaba nearly connected on a corner kick opportunity in the fourth minute but Kaba’s header sailed wide of the goal.

In the 15th minute, senior midfielder J.P. Rafferty sent a ball into the box that was deflected to give South Carolina another corner opportunity. On a rebound, junior defender Braeden Troyer played a ball over to junior forward Asa Kryst who was able to get a shot off through a pack of Dartmouth defenders. The shot reached goal, but Hickok went diving to his left to make the save for the Big Green.

Dartmouth’s only two shots of the half were recorded by freshman defender Ricardo Gomez and Defregger. The two attempts were from long range and did not pose a threat. South Carolina outshot Dartmouth 6-2 in the first half.

In the second half, the Big Green was finally able to put a shot on frame, but Adelabu’s shot in the 54th minute was saved by Velez to keep the game scoreless.

In the 84th minute, senior midfielder Hunter Wyer got off a shot that was blocked by a Dartmouth defender. On the quick counterattack, Adelabu nearly gave the Big Green a late 1-0 lead, but the header sailed just over the crossbar.

Wyer was able to get a late shot off from the top right corner of the box, but the attempt in the 88th minute went wide and the match went to overtime.

In the extra minutes, Dartmouth came out on the attack early and outshot the Gamecocks 3-0 in the first overtime period. The Big Green was unable to net a goal and the teams went on to a second overtime period.

In the final ten minutes of play, the momentum shifted back to South Carolina. Sophomore midfielder Jeffrey Torda had a shot blocked in the 101st minute and Rafferty put a ball on frame less than a minute later. Hickok was there to keep the game scoreless though.

While the Gamecocks outshot the Big Green 4-1 in the final period, they were unable to convert and the clock ran out for a 0-0 draw.

South Carolina begins play in Conference USA on Friday, Sept. 27. The Gamecocks hit the road to face Charlotte at 7 p.m.

2013 Gamecock Classic All-Tournament Team
Colin Skelly, Dartmouth
Justin Rosner, Dartmouth
Stefan Defregger, Dartmouth
Gabe Stauber, Dartmouth
Ricardo Webb, USF
Brentton Muhammad, USF
Ben Sweat, USF
Kurtis Turner, South Carolina
Marco Velez, South Carolina

Napo Matsoso, Kentucky
Brad Doliner, Kentucky

Offensive MVP: Gabe Stauber, Dartmouth
Defensive MVP: Ricardo Webb, USF