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Oct. 10, 2014

South Carolina Hosts No. 21 UAB
Eugene E. Stone III Stadium – Columbia, S.C.
Sat., Oct. 11, 7 PM
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14 SC Men’s Soccer Notes-10/10 Get Acrobat Reader

Feature on Braeden Troyer
Feature on Jeff Addai

South Carolina Team Notes

  • The Gamecocks have the fifth-highest paid attendance average in NCAA Division I, at 3,057 fans in 2014.
  • South Carolina has been a second-half team, winning more corner kicks (37-22) and shot chances (86-66) in the second 45 in its 11 matches.
  • Three Gamecocks have played every minute this year: senior Braeden Troyer and sophomores Ive Burnett and Kurtis Turner.
  • South Carolina has taken 104 of their 144 shots in five home matches: Belmont, Mercer, UNC Greensboro, Marshall and Georgia State.
  • Three times, SC has held foes to 1 or no shots on goal: Belmont, Marshall and Georgia State.
  • The Gamecocks stand with an all-time record of 457-205-68 (.672).
  • The 3-0 start was South Carolina’s best since 2004, when it won its first four matches.
  • The paid attendance of 5,415 for the season-opening match against Belmont ranks as the 4th-best in Stone Stadium history and 8th in the site’s history of men’s matches.
  • Ranked 17th in the Sept. 9 NSCAA/Continental Tire poll, South Carolina received its first ranking since the last regular season poll of 2011 (23rd).

Berson Trying to Move up NCAA Coaching Wins List

  • 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.
  • Berson owns 468 career victories, which includes his 11 in 1977 at The Citadel.
  • He holds 6th on the NCAA Division I wins list and is tied for 16th on the all-divisions listing.
  • With one more win, Berson would break a tie with former Kean head coach Tony Ochrimenko and hold 16th alone on the all-divisions list.
  • He’s coached 11 players who have captured 13 All-America nods at South Carolina.
  • He’s also guided at least one player on each of the past four US Men’s National Teams in the World Cup (Clint Mathis 2002, Josh Woolf 2002 and 2006, Brad Guzan 2010 and 2014).

South Carolina 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 36-25-16 (.571) mark.
  • At Stone Stadium, that record is 19-13-6 (.579).

Troyer Named a Senior CLASS Award Candidate

  • On Sept. 2, the Senior CLASS Award announced its 30 candidates for its men’s award, naming Gamecock Braeden Troyer to the list.
  • Troyer leads all SC 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 and has been honored once on the College Soccer News Team of the Week (Sept. 29, 2013).
  • On two occasions, CoSIDA has voted him on the Capital One Academic All-District 4 team.
  • In the classroom, he’s been a member of the Honors College at South Carolina and earned three C-USA Academic Medals, given to student-athletes with a 3.75 GPA.
  • He’s a co-captain in 2014 (along with Mahamoudou “Mo” Kaba).

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 rank in the top 50, four from C-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.
  • SC is 1-3 against top-35 teams in the latest RPI report, with UAB the next to join that group.
  • Five of South Carolina’s remaining six foes have RPIs in the top 90, including two top-25 foes.
  • Two teams currently ranked remain on the schedule: No. 21 UAB and No. 12/15 New Mexico.
  • The Gamecocks are 1-1-0 against a ranked team in 2014, beating No. 25/18 Clemson.

Recent Dominance of Archrival Clemson

  • Since 2007, the Gamecocks are 6-2 against their archrival Clemson, with both of the losses coming in double overtime on the road (2011 & 2013).
  • The last four matches at Stone Stadium have gone to the Gamecocks, three coming in shutouts.
  • It’s the best stretch since the Gamecocks went 10-4 from 1985-95 against the Tigers, with three of the wins in that stretch coming in NCAA Tournament play.

Gamecocks vs. Ranked Foes

  • South Carolina is 32-54-9 (.384) against foes ranked in the NSCAA top 25 (since 1996).
  • Broken down by site, the Gamecocks are 17-25-4 (.413) at home, 11-18-5 (.397) on the road and 4-11 (.267) in neutral-site outings.
  • In 2013, the Gamecocks went 2-2 against teams ranked in the NSCAA poll at the time of the game, including a 1-1 mark on the road.
  • South Carolina had taken its last three meetings against a ranked team before the Oct. 4 loss to No. 10 Charlotte (No. 25 New Mexico on 10/26/13, No. 10 UAB on 11/3/13, No. 25 Clemson on 9/2/14).

Delays and Waiting Part of Gamecock Season

  • The first three South Carolina games all came with some sort of delayed start.
  • For the season opener against Belmont, the previous games at Stone Stadium pushed the start back to 9:37, over an hour later than the 8:30 PM scheduled start.
  • Lightning in the Columbia area pushed back the start against No. 25/18 Clemson by 1:40.
  • Heavy rains brought standing water to the Stone Stadium pitch for a time, but the field crew and event managers got it cleared and ready for a 7:15 PM kickoff, 15 minutes after the set time.

Awards Came in Bunches in Second Week

  • Sophomore goalkeeper Marco Velez won two honors over Sept. 8-9, the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week and the Disney Soccer/NSCAA Player of the Week.
  • It’s Velez’s second C-USA weekly honor, matching his award on Oct. 28, 2013, as a freshman.
  • He’s the first national player of the week for SC since Bradlee Baladez took the College Soccer News award on Oct. 4, 2010.
  • The last Gamecock to earn NSCAA Player of the Week was Ayo Akinsete on Oct. 25, 2006.
  • Mahamoudou Kaba took a spot on CSN’s Team of the Week on Sept. 8 after garnering the C-USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year award.

Roster Notes

  • South Carolina brought back 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).
  • Only one goalkeeper of three who played in 2013 is not back from last year (Chris Duzan, 30:19).
  • Four Conference USA award winners return, including defenders Kaba and Braeden Troyer as well as 2013 All-Freshman Team members Turner (midfielder) and Marco Velez (goalkeeper).
  • Both Kaba and Troyer made the C-USA Preseason team, with Kaba garnering the Defensive Player of the Year title.

Gamecocks Have a Rich History in NCAA Tournament

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

The Gamecocks Shine in the Classroom as Well

  • 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.
  • Troyer has three of those Academic Medals, while both Ryan Arambula and Jeffrey Torda have two.
  • Four of the seniors, Robert Beebe, Mahamoudou “Mo” Kaba, Asa Kryst and Braeden Troyer have three certificates each.
The Last Meeting
South Carolina 4
November 3, 2013
Birmingham, Ala.
Gamecocks Upset No. 10 UAB in Comeback Thriller
With goals from sophomore midfielder Jeffrey Torda and junior forward Asa Kryst in the 85th minute, South Carolina (7-5-5, 4-1-3 C-USA) upset No. 10 UAB (11-4-1, 4-3-1 C-USA) 4-3 in a back-and-forth thriller at West Campus Field.

Scouting UAB

  • UAB enters Saturday’s contest with a 6-4-1 record, losing the last two to Akron and Kentucky 1-0.
  • Foes have outshot the Blazers, 121-101, with the team being called for 121 fouls compared to 85 committed by the opposition.
  • Eleven of the team’s 18 goals have come in the second half.
  • Junior Freddy Ruiz, the C-USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, leads the Blazers with five goals and has added two assists.
  • Ruiz is tied for the team lead in points with redshirt senior Alex Clay’s four goals and four assists.
  • Redshirt junior Stewart Abrahart has three assists, while freshman David Valverde has two.
  • Ten Blazers have contribued to the team’s 18 goals, while 11 different student-athletes have registered at least one helper.
  • Redshirt junior Joe Kuzminsky has 40 saves and a 1.16 goals against average, playing every minute.
  • He’s posted one shutout, coming in the team’s only overtime match, a draw against Dayton.

Series History vs. the Blazers

  • The Gamecocks are 9-4-1 against UAB, including a 7-3-1 mark since joining the Blazers in Conference USA in 2005.
  • At Stone Stadium versus UAB, South Carolina is 3-2-1, dropping the 2012 matchup in Columbia.