Oct. 4, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. –
Conference play heats up for the Gamecocks (4-4-2, 1-0-0 C-USA) this weekend as they host No. 23 Tulsa (5-3-1, 0-1-0 C-USA) in the home Conference USA opener on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Carolina Quick Hits
South Carolina is in its 36th season of varsity soccer in 2013.
South Carolina head coach Mark Berson is in his 37th season overall and his 36th season as head coach of the Gamecocks. He is assisted by former players Spencer Lewis and Joey Worthen, both in their second season. Tim O’Toole is the volunteer assistant coach.
The Gamecocks will play 11 regular-season contests at Stone Stadium this season, including the annual Gamecock Classic and four Conference USA matches.
Ã¯ÂÂ® The Gamecocks completed their 2013 non-conference slate with a 3-0-2 undefeated home record.
Junior defender Mahamoudou Kaba scored his third and fourth goals of the season in the non-conference finale against Presbyterian on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The Gamecock is proving to be a reliable target on set pieces, as he and sophomore midfielder Ryan Arambula have connected on restarts for three of his four goals.
Freshman forward Eli Dent recorded his first career start and goal in the match against Presbyterian. Dent scored in the 40th minute of the match.
South Carolina’s first road win of the season could not have come at a better time. The Gamecocks scored two unanswered goals to defeat (RV) Charlotte 2-1 on Friday, Sept. 27. Junior defenders Mahamoudou Kaba and Braeden Troyer provided the offense. Troyer’s unassisted game winner came off a rebound from a corner kick in the 81st minute. Prior to the Gamecocks’ two tallies, the 49ers had allowed just four goals over the course of their first seven matches of the season. Freshman keeper Marco Velez earned his first career win in the Garnet and Black.
In the 27th edition of the Gamecock Classic on Sept. 20 and 22, South Carolina played 220 minutes of soccer and finished the weekend 0-0-2. Sophomore midfielder Jeffrey Torda scored his second goal of the season in the fifth minute against USF, but the Bulls tied the match and played out to a 1-1 tie on Friday, Sept. 20. Less than 48 hours later, the Gamecocks faced Dartmouth and again went the distance, this time playing to a 0-0 draw. South Carolina outshot their opponents 36-20 over the course of the weekend.
To end their three-game road stretch, the Gamecocks dropped a Sunday afternoon contest 0-3 at Rutgers on Sept. 15.
South Carolina faced No. 12 St. John’s on Friday, Sept. 13, without Conference-USA preseason honoree Troyer (suspension for red card vs. Coastal Carolina) and starting keeper Robert Beebe (injury). The teams played 60 scoreless minutes before the Red Storm recorded a tally for the 1-0 win. The Gamecocks who faced a 7-2 shot deficit at the half, ultimately outshot St. John’s 12-11. Velez notched his first career start in Beebe’s place between the posts.
Freshman Ive Burnett scored his first career goal for the Garnet and Black in the fourth minute against Coastal Carolina on Tues., Sept 10. The Gamecocks couldn’t hold on to the early 1-0 lead and dropped the road match 1-3.
Senior J.P. Rafferty recorded the first multi-goal game of his career on Friday, Sept. 6, in a 5-2 win over High Point. Rafferty’s two second-half goals came within 15 minutes of each other. Freshman Kurtis Turner scored the first points of his Gamecock career against High Point, assisting on three goals in the non-conference win.
The five South Carolina goals against High Point are the most scored by the Gamecocks since a 5-2 road win at East Carolina on Oct. 5, 2005.
South Carolina came from behind, but ultimately fell to Clemson 2-1 in double overtime on Sept. 2. Kaba scored the first goal of his career on a header off a Ryan Arambula corner kick to level the match in the second half. Clemson tallied the golden goal in the 102nd minute for the win.
The Gamecocks improved to 30-5-1 in season openers with a 1-0 shutout victory over East Tennessee State on Aug. 30. Torda netted the unassisted gamewinner in the 26th minute.
South Carolina posted two shutouts in exhibition play this season, a 1-0 win over Mercer and a 2-0 win over Elon.
Three different Gamecocks scored during preseason play, junior forward Asa Kryst, sophomore midfielder Jeffrey Torda and senior midfielder J.P. Rafferty.
The Garnet and Black posted 31 shots in the pair of matches, with a decided 23-6 advantage over Mercer. The Gamecocks preferred quality over quantity against Elon, putting seven of their eight shots on frame.
Nine newcomers (seven freshmen and two transfers) join 15 letterwinners and four starters from the 2012 squad.
Junior Braden Troyer was selected to the Preseason All-Conference USA squad in August. Last season, the Columbia, S.C., native earned second-team all-conference honors, was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 4 Team and earned a spot on the C-USA All-Academic Team.
Last season, the Gamecocks finished 5-11-2 (2-5-1 C-USA), a year removed from earning a share of the 2011 Conference USA Regular Season championship after a 6-1-1 conference campaign.
After dropping their first match of the season at then-No. 6 Creighton, No. 23 Tulsa went on a six-game unbeaten streak, but the Golden Hurricane has dropped its last two matches for a 5-3-1 overall record. In its conference opener, Tulsa dropped a 1-2 decision to Old Dominion for a 0-1-0 record in the conference. The team then traveled to No. 8 Maryland on Tuesday, Oct. 1, where they fell 1-2.
To this point, Tulsa has outscored opponents 19-10. Sophomore forward Cristian Mata paces the team offensively with 16 points on six goals and four assists. His brother senior midfielder Omar Mata has recorded six points on two goals and two assists. Junior forward Akeil Barrett had a team-leading five assists and has netted two tallies for the Golden Hurricane.
Goalkeepers senior Cody Mumma and freshman Jake McGuire have played five matches each between the posts, with McGuire starting and going the distance in the past four matches. McGuire has one shutout, 15 saves and a 1.47 goals against average.
Several players earned preseason honors. The Mata brothers, Cristian and Omar, were named to the Hermann Trophy watch list and the preseason Conference-USA team. Cristian was voted preseason C-USA offensive player of the year.
Last season, the Golden Hurricane won the C-USA tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16. Tom McIntosh is in his 19th season as head coach and returns eight starters from last year’s squad.
Up Next for the Gamecocks
The Gamecocks fully focus on C-USA play for the rest of the season. On Sunday, Oct. 13, South Carolina travels to Kentucky for a match at 1 p.m. The next home match is slated for Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. when the Gamecocks take on Florida Atlantic at the Graveyard.