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Sept. 12, 2014

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GAMECOCK MEN’S SOCCER
Highlights
Coach Berson

COLUMBIA, S.C. – With 2,847 fans in attendance, the 17th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (3-1) dropped a 2-1 decision to UNC Wilmington (3-1-1) on Friday evening at Stone Stadium.

South Carolina took control early in the match, and sophomore defender Ive Burnett punctuated that sentiment with his drive from the back to the top of the Seahawk box, posting an unassisted goal in the ninth minute of the contest. It’s Burnett’s first goal of the year.

UNC Wilmington took over control of the match not long after, starting to build on offense. The breakthrough came in the 41st minute, when Freddy Nzekele put in the rebound on Kelly Foster’s blocked shot to knot the match heading into the break.

The two teams battled most of the second half, with the Seahawks possessing the ball and threatening the Gamecocks’ goal a little more. Three times, Gamecock sophomore goalkeeper Marco Velez, the reigning Disney Soccer/NSCAA Player of the Week, made great saves on UNCW shots, including a leaping save on Jack Ward’s blistered shot from 35 yards away in the 52nd minute. Finally Jamie Dell broke through again in the 82nd after South Carolina failed to clear a corner kick. Dell’s second goal of the season stood as the game-winner.

Prior to the contest, South Carolina honored three U.S. Army representatives as part of the Operation Hat Trick promotion run for the game.

Game Changer:
Momentum shifted to the Seahawks not long after the Gamecocks’ took the initial lead, with back-to-back corner kicks in the 19th and 20th minutes marking that turn.

Key Stats:
UNC Wilmington took 12 shots compared to five for the Gamecocks and held a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Notables:

  • Gamecock sophomore goalkeeper Marco Velez had five saves on the night.
  • Only two of South Carolina’s five shots came on goal.
  • Both teams were called for three yellow cards.

Quotable:
South Carolina Head Coach Mark Berson

We like to improve from game to game. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that tonight.

Tweet of the Match:

Up Next:
The Gamecocks hit the road to face nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.

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