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Aug. 28, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Hosts Belmont
Eugene E. Stone III Stadium – Columbia, S.C.
Fri., August 29, 8:30 PM (approximately)
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14 SC Men’s Soccer Notes-8/28 Get Acrobat Reader

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South Carolina Team Notes

  • South Carolina returns 18 letter-winners to go with nine newcomers for 2014.
  • The Gamecocks return 80 percent of their goals and 76 percent of their assists from last year.
  • Included in that returning group is the top-two goal scorers (Jeffrey Torda and Mahamoudou Kaba) and the top-two assist distributors (Kurtis Turner and Ryan Arambula).
  • Also back is all but 30 minutes in goal from last year.
  • Four Conference USA award winners return, including defenders Mahamoudou “Mo” Kaba and Braeden Troyer as well as 2013 All-Freshman Team members midfielder Kurtis Turner and goalkeeper Marco Velez.
  • Both Kaba and Troyer made the C-USA Preseason team, with Kaba garnering the Defensive Player of the Year title.
  • The Gamecocks enter 2014 with an all-time record of 451-200-68 (.656).

Gamecocks Love Openers (and Home Openers Too)

  • In the 36-year history of Gamecock men’s soccer, the program holds a 30-5-1 mark in the first match of the year.
  • That mark improves to 31-4-1 in the first home match of the season.
  • This will be the 30th time the Gamecocks have started their year at home.
  • In those 30 wins to start the year, 17 have come in shutouts, including five in the last seven years.

Gamecocks Have a Rich History in NCAA Tournament

  • On 20 occasions, the Gamecocks made an NCAA Tournament, the most in Conference USA.
  • South Carolina is 16-19-1 in the tourney, making two College Cups in 1988 and 1993.
  • Eleven times, the Gamecocks made the NCAA Tournament Round of 16.

Gamecocks Celebrating 10 Years in Conference USA

  • The 2014 season is South Carolina’s 10th as a men’s soccer affiliate member of Conference USA.
  • In 2011, the Garnet and Black captured the league’s regular-season crown, sharing it with UAB.
  • Twice, the Gamecocks have won the league’s tournament (2005 and 2010).
  • South Carolina’s student-athletes have taken 40 all-league nods, with 14 coming on the first team.
  • In C-USA outings, South Carolina owns a 35-23-16 (.581) mark. At Stone Stadium, that record is 19-11-6 (.611).

Berson Ranks Among Top Coaches in NCAA History

  • The only head coach in South Carolina men’s soccer history, Mark Berson ranks as one of four coaches in NCAA Division I history with 450 wins at one institution.
  • With 462 career wins (including 11 in 1977 at The Citadel), he’s seventh on the NCAA Division I and 18th on the NCAA All-Divisions wins list, four in back of former SMU coach Schellas Hyndman.
  • He’s coached 11 players who have captured 13 All-America nods at South Carolina.

The Field is Not The Only Place The Gamecocks Shine

  • South Carolina’s 18 returners have a total of 30 SEC Academic Honor Roll certificates and 31 Conference USA Academic Honor Roll notations between them.
  • Of those, 10 are Conference USA Academic Medal mentions, which is awarded to student-athletes with a 3.75 cumulative GPA or higher.
  • Four of the seniors, Robert Beebe, Mahamoudou “Mo” Kaba, Asa Kryst and Braeden Troyer have three certificates each.
  • Troyer has three of those Academic Medals, while both Ryan Arambula and Jeffrey Torda have two.

Troyer Chasing Spots in History

  • Senior Braeden Troyer leads all returners with 10 career goals, tied for seventh in Gamecock history during the Conference USA era (since 2005).
  • Twice he’s been named to the C-USA All-Academic Team, and he has three All-C-USA nods, (`12 second team, `11 & 13 third team).
  • He also made the 2011 Conference USA All-Freshman Team.
  • On two occasions, CoSIDA has voted him on the Capital One Academic All-District 4 team.

We Scheduled Strong Foes

  • Of the 17 regular-season matches scheduled this season for the Gamecocks, 12 come against top-100 RPI teams in the final 2013 report from the NCAA.
  • Seven of those rank in the top 50, four from Conference USA (Charlotte, UAB, Old Dominion & New Mexico).
  • Four foes made the NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason Top 25, well, 26 when you count Old Dominion tying for the 25th spot with Navy.

Scouting Belmont

  • The Bruins bring back eight starters from last year’s 6-10-2 squad while also bringing in nine freshmen.
  • Entering the Horizon League for their first year, Belmont also has a new coach in Bryan Green.
  • Green spent the last four years as the associate head coach at Drexel, helping them to win two Colonial Athletic Association titles.
  • Belmont lost its top goal scorer in Alfred Edmonds as well as Nico Olsak, who ranked second on the team with three assists.
  • Leading the returners is goalkeeper Grayson Rector, who had a 1.24 goals against average while playing every minute in goal in 2013.
  • Rector had five shutouts on the season.
  • AJ Arnold leads the Bruin returners with four goals last year, while Raphael Colmanette tallied 10 points with three goals and a team-best four assists.
  • Both Colmanette and Arnold joined Edmonds with two game-winning goals each.