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Nov. 13, 2014

8308381.jpeg South Carolina vs. No. 3 seed UAB
Conference USA Tournament
ODU Soccer Complex – Norfolk, Va.
Fri., Nov. 14, 4:30 PM
Conference USA Digital Network ($) | | @GamecockMSoccer

14 SC Men’s Soccer Notes-11/13 Get Acrobat Reader

Feature on Braeden Troyer
Feature on Jeff Addai

Conference USA Tournament Continues in Norfolk with SC vs. UAB in Semis

  • The seventh seed, the Gamecocks opened the event by beating second-seeded Kentucky 2-1.
  • At 4:30 PM on Fri., South Carolina faces UAB, who defeated Marshall 1-0 in the second match on Wed.
  • This is the Gamecocks’ eighth appearance in the event, with the team going 8-5-1.
  • Twice, the Gamecocks have won the C-USA Tournament (2005 and 2010).
  • Entering the event, SC faced a rematch against a team it lost to in the regular season once before.
  • In 2010, South Carolina fell to SMU in the regular season 3-1 but came back to win the semifinal rematch 2-1 en route to its second tourney title.
  • The Gamecocks added to that total with Wed.’s win over No. 18 Kentucky.
  • Charlotte, the top seed, received a bye into the semifinals, where it will face Old Dominion.
  • The semifinals will be shown on the C-USA Digital Network, an online streaming platform.

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.
  • 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 38-28-16 (.561) mark.
  • On the road, that mark is 19-13-10 (.571). At Stone Stadium, that record is 19-15-6 (.550).
  • The Gamecocks fell a game shy of their fifth undefeated road slate in their C-USA history.

Knudsen Headlines Four Gamecocks on All-Conference USA Teams

  • Redshirt freshman Mikkel Knudsen gained four honors from Conference USA as part of their 2014 awards.
  • Knudsen captured the Golden Boot with his six goals in league play and the Freshman of the Year.
  • He’s the fourth Gamecock to be named Freshman of the Year, following Mike Gustavson, Jeff Scanella and Jimmy Maurer.
  • Knudsen also headlined the All-Freshman Team and took a spot on the second team, matching Maurer’s honors in 2007.
  • Senior defenders Mahamoudou Kaba and Braeden Troyer joined Knudsen on the second team.
  • Sophomore midfielder Kurtis Turner garnered a third-team spot.

South Carolina Team Notes

  • South Carolina has been a second-half team, winning more corner kicks (57-34) and shot chances (147-108) in the second 45 in its 18 matches.
  • Two Gamecock defenders have played every minute this year: senior Braeden Troyer and sophomore Ive Burnett.
  • South Carolina took 131 of their 261 shots, 50 percent, in six home matches: Belmont, Mercer, UNC Greensboro, Marshall, Georgia State and Kentucky.
  • Four times, SC has held foes to 2 or less shots on goal: Belmont, Marshall, Georgia State and UAB.
  • South Carolina stands with an all-time record of 460-209-68 (.671).
  • The 3-0 start was South Carolina’s best in a decade, when the 2004 squad won its first four 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).

Especially Experienced in Overtime

  • The Gamecocks hold a 4-4 mark in overtime this year, the most OT wins in a season in history and the most extra-time matches played without a tie for the Gamecocks.
  • The eight overtime matches ties for most in a season with 2013.
  • South Carolina has played 15 overtime matches in its last 30 outings dating back to last year.
  • The eight OT contests ties for eighth in NCAA Division I this year, behind UC Davis’ 14, Valparaiso’s 10 and Albany’s, Army’s, Detroit’s, Loyola’s (Chicago), Northwestern’s nine.
  • The Gamecocks are tied with American, Brown, Bryant, Butler, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, James Madison, Lafayette, Loyola Marymount, Marist and SIU Edwardsville with eight (as of Nov. 12).
  • Of those 19 teams playing at least eight matches into overtime, South Carolina stands alone without a tie.

2014 Gamecocks Road Warriors in C-USA Action

  • The Gamecocks went 3-1 in road Conference USA contests, with the lone loss coming at No. 25 New Mexico in the final match of the regular season.
  • In league play, South Carolina scored 11 goals on the road and three at home, with four matches in each category.
  • South Carolina went 0-4 in league play at home, the first winless home slate since joining C-USA.
  • All three goals at home came in the final 50 minutes of action vs. No. 19/22 Kentucky.
  • The three goals against the Wildcats pushed their goals-against average down 10 spots to No. 12 in the Oct. 27 NCAA Division I stats rankings.

Gamecocks are Comeback Kings in 2014

  • In six of South Carolina’s nine wins, the team has come from behind to take the victory.
  • Four victories came from one goal back, with the fifth marking the largest comeback in school history (down 0-3 at Florida Atlantic).
  • Twice, the team has fought back against a ranked foe despite being down a player to force double overtime (down 0-1 vs. No. 25/18 Clemson, down 0-3 vs. No. 19/22 Kentucky).
  • The only wins that didn’t involve overtime or falling behind were a 2-0 decision over Mercer and the 1-0 triumph at Old Dominion.

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.
  • To make their 21st appearance, the Gamecocks will need to win the C-USA Tournament for the third time.

Berson Ranks Sixth on NCAA Division I 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 471 career victories in 38 years, which includes his 11 in 1977 at The Citadel.
  • He holds 6th on the NCAA Division I wins list and 16th on the all-divisions listing.
  • The FAU win broke a tie with former Kean head coach Tony Ochrimenko to give Berson 16th alone on the all-divisions list.
  • Berson coached his 750th collegiate match vs. Kentucky on Oct. 25.
  • He’s coached 13 players who have captured 15 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).

Three Named to Capital One Academic All-District 4 Team by CoSIDA

  • South Carolina, for the third time in seven years, had three student-athletes claim a spot on the Capital One Academic All-District 4 Team as selected by CoSIDA.
  • Forwards Jeffrey Torda and Eli Dent garnered recognition for the first time, while senior Braeden Troyer made his third appearance on the team.
  • Honorees must have a 3.3 cumulative grade point average, completed one full academic year at the school and be a sophomore both athletically and academically.
  • Academic All-Americans will be announced on Tues., Nov. 25.
  • The 2008 and 2010 teams also had three members make what was then two squads honored.

We Scheduled Strong Foes

  • Of the 17 regular-season matches scheduled this season for the Gamecocks, 12 came against top-100 RPI teams in the final 2013 report from the NCAA.
  • Seven ranked 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.
  • Five of the Gamecocks’ foes appeared in the most-recent NSCAA top 25 with one more receiving votes.
  • SC is 3-6 against top-40 teams in the latest RPI report.

Gamecocks vs. Ranked Foes

  • This season, the Gamecocks are 2-4 against NSCAA-ranked opponents.
The Last Meeting
South Carolina 0
October 11, 2014
Columbia, S.C.
Gamecocks Fall 1-0 to No. 21 UAB
No. 21 UAB (7-4-1, 2-1 C-USA) scored in the 71st minute and made it stand up with a save with 90 seoconds left to take a 1-0 win over South Carolina (6-6, 1-2 C-USA) on Saturday night at Stone Stadium.

Scouting UAB

  • UAB enters the semifinal match with a 11-6-1 record, winning five of its last seven.
  • Foes have outshot the Blazers, 195-182, with the team being called for 178 fouls compared to 145 committed by the opposition.
  • Junior Freddy Ruiz, the C-USA Co-Offensive MVP, leads the Blazers with 10 goals and has added two assists.
  • Redshirt senior Alex Clay ranks second in points, tallying seven goals and six assists.
  • Rami Dajani has five goals and an assist, third on the team in points.
  • Twelve Blazers have contribued to the team’s 35 goals, while 12 different student-athletes have registered at least one helper.
  • Redshirt junior Joe Kuzminsky has 62 saves and a 1.16 goals against average, playing all but 17 minutes in goal.
  • He’s posted three shutouts, including one against the Gamecocks in Columbia and playing as part of one in the last two matches.

Series History vs. the Blazers

  • The Gamecocks are 9-5-1 against UAB all-time, including a 1-1 mark in C-USA Tournament play.
  • Both of those were in quarterfinals, with the Blazers winning in 2006 and the Gamecocks taking the 2010 meeting.

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.

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.

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 Come Back at Florida Atlantic for Big Win

  • The Gamecocks scored four unanswered goals in the final 30 minutes of regulation and five minutes of overtime to claim a 4-3 road win at Florida Atlantic on Oct. 17.
  • South Carolina posted its biggest come-from-behind victory with that effort, the first time in 37 years a Gamecock team overcame a three-goal deficit.
  • Doubling the Owls in shots in the second half, SC had two goals from redshirt freshman Mikkel Knudsen, including the neutralizer with 7:59 remaining.
  • Two Gamecocks made their season debut in the win, juniors Devin L’Amoreaux and Wesley Eads. L’Amoreaux had an assist on the game-tying goal by Knudsen.

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 before Velez to earn NSCAA’s weekly nod 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.

Attendance Outstanding at Stone Stadium

  • The 2014 Gamecocks have the sixth-highest paid attendance average in NCAA Division I at 2,602.
  • That 2,602 attendance average is the largest for a season in Stone Stadium history.
  • 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.

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.
  • Senior Night activities in New Mexico delayed the start of the match by nearly 30 minutes.