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Nov. 1, 2013

South Carolina (6-5-5, 3-1-1 C-USA) makes its final regular-season road trip of 2013 to Birmingham, Ala., to take on No. 10 UAB (11-3-1, 4-2-1 C-USA). The teams are slated to kickoff at 3 p.m. ET at West Campus Field. UAB and South Carolina are separated by just one point in the league standings. The Blazers sit in third with 13 points while the Gamecocks are just behind in fourth with 12.

Date/Opponent: Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 vs. No. 10 UAB
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Series: South Carolina leads 8-4-1
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Stadium: West Campus Field

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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.

Head coach Mark Berson is aiming for his 450th victory at the University of South Carolina. He would be just the fourth Division I head coach to post 450 victories at one institution. On Nov. 1, 2011, Berson collected his 450th career win in a double overtime victory over No. 22 UCF in Orlando, Fla., becoming the eighth Division I coach all-time to reach the 450-win career milestone.

Scouting UAB
No. 10 UAB has put together an impressive season, boasting an 11-3-1 overall record and a 4-2-1 mark in C-USA. The Blazers have dropped just one of their eight home matches this season including a victory over defending NCAA Champion and then-No. 8 Indiana 2-1 in overtime in Birmingham on September 6. The lone loss was a 0-1 defeat at the hands of East Tennessee State on September 15.

UAB is coming off a 3-4 loss at New Mexico on Wednesday in a match between two of the top-three teams in the league. The Lobos converted a penalty kick with seven seconds remaining in regulation for the victory. Junior midfielder Alex Clay netted two goals in the match for the Blazers.

A pair of forwards leads the offensive effort. Sophomore Freddy Ruiz paces the offense with 24 points on 11 goals and two assists while junior Diego Navarrete adds 19 points on six goals and a team-leading seven assists. After his two-goal performance against the Lobos, Clay has 18 points on six goals and six assists. Entering the New Mexico match, the Blazers’ offense led the country in scoring, averaging 2.43 goals a game.

Between the posts, Raphael Ville has played in all 15 matches for the Blazers and boasts 52 saves, four shutouts and a 1.00 goals against average. Despite being outshot by their opponents 210-167, UAB is outscoring their opponents 37-16.

Last season, South Carolina fell to then-No. 25 UAB 3-4 in Stone Stadium. Current Gamecocks Jeffrey Torda and Braeden Troyer scored for the Gamecocks. Asa Kryst was credited with an assist.

Last Week’s Action
The Gamecocks battled FIU to a scoreless draw on Wednesday, October 30. Freshman keeper Marco Velez collected five saves in the conference match. With the result, South Carolina picked up one point in the league race.
In the 92nd minute, freshman forward Eli Dent scored an unassisted goal to lift the Gamecocks over No. 25 New Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 26. The 1-0 upset win was the first C-USA defeat for New Mexico, who is in their first year in the league. South Carolina limited the Lobos to just three shots on goal in the contest. Posting his third shutout of the season, freshman keeper Marco Velez was honored by C-USA as Defensive Player of the Week. The win was the Gamecocks’ first in overtime and the first victory over a ranked opponent this season.

Scoring on Set Pieces
Of the Gamecocks’ 19 goals this season, 10 of the tallies have come directly (8) or indirectly (2) as a result of a set piece. Kaba and Arambula are the usual suspects, connecting four times for a score this season. Kaba’s team-leading fifth goal was on a rebound from a shot attempt created from a corner kick.

Overtime Matches
In its 16 regular-season matches, South Carolina has played eight overtime matches. Five have resulted in ties, and two of the Gamecocks’ losses have come in extra minutes. Five of seven conference games this season have gone to extra time.

Earlier Conference USA Action
Trailing 0-1 on the road at Marshall on Saturday, Oct. 19, senior midfielder J.P. Rafferty scored the equalizer in the 54th minute on a header. Ultimately, the Gamecocks and Herd tied 1-1 after 110 minutes of play. Freshman Kurtis Turner recorded his fourth assist of the season on the play, setting up Rafferty on a long cross off of a free kick. Turner broke into the Gamecock all-time top 10 for assists by a freshman. After the weekend, Rafferty and Turner are currently second and third on the team in points with seven and six, respectively.
Turner put the game-winning goal away in the 87th minute on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in a home conference match against FAU. The tally was Turner’s first career goal in the Garnet and Black. The Gamecocks also scored on a penalty kick from junior defender Braeden Troyer in the first half in the 2-1 victory.
The Gamecocks surrendered a 1-0 lead to No. 23 Tulsa on Sunday, Oct. 6. The Golden Hurricane scored the game-winner with three seconds on the clock in the first overtime period of the match. Junior defender Mahamoudou Kaba scored on a header from a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Ryan Arambula. The goal capped a three-goal week for Kaba after scoring two in the non-conference finale against Presbyterian earlier in the week.
In a road match against Kentucky on Sunday, Oct. 13, South Carolina collected one point in the C-USA race. The Gamecocks and Wildcats tied 0-0 after 110 minutes of action.
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.

Up Next for the Gamecocks
South Carolina is off for six days before the final regular season match of the season on Saturday, Nov. 9. The home finale against league leader No. 24 Old Dominion is set for a 7 p.m. kick in Stone Stadium. Senior Day festivities will take place before the match.