Nov. 7, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – With important Conference USA Tournament seeding implications in the balance, No. 25 New Mexico (11-5-1, 4-4 C-USA) used two first-half goals to take a 2-1 win over South Carolina (8-9, 3-5 C-USA) on Friday night.
The Lobos posted an easy first goal when James Rogers pushed in a seventh-minute penalty kick. The Gamecocks were called for a handball in the box to give up the 12-yard chance. Chris Wehan added the second score in the 19th with his strike from the far right wing. Niko Hansen used a back-heel kick to find the streaking Wehan, who fired home his ninth goal of the year.
The Gamecocks and Lobos both had five shots in the first half, two on goal for each.
South Carolina cut the lead in half in the 78th minute when junior Wesley Eads headed home the corner kick to the back post by sophomore Kurtis Turner. But that shot would be the last credited to the Gamecocks in the contest, as New Mexico finished out the victory.
With the win, New Mexico captures the fifth seed in the league’s tournament, while the Gamecocks will be seeded seventh.
The match started 25 minutes late after New Mexico honored its seniors in a ceremony prior to the match.
The early penalty kick allowed New Mexico to take the lead and seize momentum in the game.
New Mexico was called for five offsides in the contest.
- The teams had nearly-equal stats, actually level in corners 3-3, with the Lobos having small edges in shots (10-9) and shots on goal (4-3).
- Gamecocks Mo Kaba, Jeffrey Torda and Turner all had two shots in the match.
- It’s the first setback for South Carolina in road C-USA play in 2014.
- The Gamecocks drop to 1-4 on the year against ranked foes according to the NSCAA poll.
The Gamecocks, the seventh seed in the Conference USA Tournament, takes on second-seeded Kentucky on Wednesday’s opening day in Norfolk, Va. The start time will be released later, either at 2, 4:30 or 7 PM at the Old Dominion Soccer Complex.