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Oct. 27, 2015

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (8-6-1, 5-2 C-USA) picked up a big Conference USA victory with a 2-0 shutout of FIU (9-5, 3-3 C-USA) on a rainy Tuesday night at Stone Stadium.

The Gamecocks’ first goal came after junior Koty Millard’s 38th-minute shot was blocked inside the box by an inadvertent Panther hand ball, drawing a penalty kick. Junior midfielder Danny Deakin stepped to the spot and hit his shot off the post before ricocheting in for his ninth goal of the season.

Controlling play more in the second half, South Carolina struck again in the 82nd minute when freshman defender Peyton Ericson sent a long cross up the right side that senior forward Kevin Walker tracked down. Walker fought past the FIU defender to shoot across the goalmouth and inside the far post for his fifth score of the season.

In shutting down the Panthers, the Gamecocks tallied their second shutout of the season. South Carolina held the nation’s top scoring offense without a goal, only the third time FIU suffered a clean sheet this season.

Game Changer:
South Carolina’s defense tightened down and limited FIU to only four shots in the second half, two coming on goal. Sophomore goalkeeper William Pyle stopped both of them.

Key Stat:
The Gamecocks improve to 6-0-1 on the season at home with two matches left to play at Stone Stadium.

• The assist for Peyton Ericson is his first collegiate point.
• Three Gamecocks fired two shots each: Deakin, Millard and Walker. All of Walker and Deakin’s strikes came on goal.
• Brad Fountain led FIU with four shot, while Daniel Gonzalez sent both of his shots on goals.

Tweet of the Game:

Head coach Mark Berson

The first half of the first half, they really played well, and we had trouble getting in gear. We made some adjustments. Some of the guys that came in off the bench gave us a good lift. After the breakthrough on the right side that resulted in the penalty (kick), we started to get our legs underneath us and play a little bit. In the second half, I really was proud of our team. We did a great job in the second half. We stepped up our defensive intensity. We turned them over a few times. We had a few more chances. Overall, it was a really even game. We’re glad to get the win.

FIU is a very good team. They’ve got wonderful skill all over the field. They’re really well coached and well organized, so we knew it would be a really tough challenge.

Up Next:
South Carolina hosts No. 13 Old Dominion on Halloween night at “The Graveyard.” Gates open at 6 p.m. for Trick-or-Treat with the Gamecocks, with the match slated to begin at 7 p.m. All military personnel and their families receive free admission for Heroes Night Out.