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Oct. 21, 2014

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Coach Berson

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (7-7) dropped a hard-fought contest in a cruel fashion on Tuesday night to NC State (6-5-3), as the Wolfpack scored with 26 seconds left to capture the 2-1 win in overtime at Stone Stadium.

A foul called on the Gamecocks set up an NC State free kick, and Michael Bajza drove that kick deep into the penalty box, where Conor Donovan headed it home on the right side to end the evenly fought affair.

Just over a minute before, Donovan received a yellow card after hugging Gamecock forward Jeffrey Torda on a breakaway attempt in the 99th minute. On the ensuing free kick, Torda drove one toward the goal from over 30 yards out that Wolfpack goalkeeper Alex McCauley dove to stop just inside the right post.

Two other Gamecock chances in the overtime hit the frame, including Torda’s 97th-minute shot off the crossbar from the right wing and sophomore Eli Dent’s volley from the six that hit the right post.

NC State took the 1-0 lead in the 21st minute when Zach Knudson took the feed from Travis Wannemuehler to get behind the Gamecock defense and put it past the Gamecock goalkeeper. The Gamecocks knotted things in the 40th when sophomore Kurtis Turner blasted home a rebound from junior Wesley Eads’ shot. Dent also got an assist as he deflected it off the rebound to Turner.

Bajza nearly gave NC State the lead in the second half with his shot from 13 yards away in the 50th, but SC sophomore Marco Velez had a one-handed save. Before a rebound shot was fired, the visitors were called for offsides. Donovan also got a look at goal in the 63rd, heading one wide left after a free kick.

The Gamecocks’ closest chance at a winner in regulation came from redshirt freshman Mikkel Knudsen in the 79th, who drove a shot from 30 yards out toward goal, but it strayed less than three yards from frame. Torda also had a header in the 51st that trickled wide right.

Game Changer:
The yellow card handed out at 98:15 to NC State took away a breakaway chance and swung the momentum back to the Wolfpack.

Key Stat:
South Carolina’s three shots in overtime hit the post (Dent), hit the crossbar (Torda) and saved with a dive off a free kick (Torda).


  • South Carolina took more shots (14-12) and corner kicks (4-3) in the contest.
  • Shots on goal were even at five apiece.
  • Junior Jeffrey Torda shot six times to lead all players, including twice on goal.
  • McCauley made four saves in the win, while Velez nabbed three saves.
  • Velez’s first save came on a header from the six-yard line by Yanni Hachem.
  • Both cautions issued went to NC State, in the 77th and 99th minutes.

Up Next:
The Gamecocks celebrate Senior Night on Saturday at 7 p.m., when they host No. 19/22 Kentucky at Stone Stadium.