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Nov. 21, 2015

Sunday’s Match Information

Date: Nov. 22, 2015

Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET

Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.

Stadium: Harder Stadium

Live Video:


Feature Stories

Coach Berson Mic’d Up
Conference USA Soccer: An Elite History
Berson’s Influence Felt On and Off the Field – Courtesy of Spurs and Feathers
Feature on William Pyle
Gamecocks Give Back video feature
Details on the South Carolina Together T-Shirt sales
Millard’s Determinations Drives Gamecock Soccer
Andy Demetra’s Column on Gamecocks’ Season – Courtesy of Spurs and Feathers

South Carolina in its 21st NCAA Tournament

  • This season ranks as the 21st time the Gamecocks made an NCAA Tournament, the most in Conference USA.
  • Three other C-USA teams (Charlotte, FIU and Kentucky) also made this year’s field.
  • Eleven times, the Gamecocks played the NCAA Tournament Round of 16.
  • South Carolina is 16-19-2 in the tourney, making two College Cups in 1988 and 1993.
  • When playing on the road, the Gamecocks are 4-6.
  • This will be the furthest away from home the Gamecocks have played a postseason match. Before this, the 1988 College Cup stood as the longest trip ever, to Bloomington, Ind.
  • Seven of the Gamecocks’ regular-season opponents made the field. SC went 3-4 in those matches.

Gamecocks A Long Way from Home This Weekend

  • South Carolina is making the longest trip of any team for a second-round match this year, traveling over 2,500 miles to play at UC Santa Barbara.
  • This is the Gamecocks’ sixth trip to the West Coast and the first since Sept. 26-28, 2003 when SC played at Washington.
  • In the previous five trips, South Carolina is 3-3-4, including a 2-1-3 mark in matchs in California.

Seven South Carolina Players Make Conference USA Awards List

  • Junior Danny Deakin led seven Gamecocks who garnered spots on Conference USA’s awards.
  • Deakin earned first-team honors after ranking fourth in league matches in goals scored (4).
  • On the second team were junior defender Koty Millard and senior forward Kevin Walker.
  • Third-team honorees from the Gamecocks were junior defender Ive Burnett and senior forward Jeffrey Torda, and Torda also made the C-USA All-Academic Team.
  • Two central defenders Peyton Ericson and Torgeir Nyboe made the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
  • The seven honored is the most for a Gamecock squad since eight earned accolades in 2008.

We Schedule Top Competition

  • According to the NCAA’s data on Nov. 9, the Gamecocks have played the toughest non-conference schedule in the country and the sixth-toughest overall.
  • South Carolina has faced six RPI top-30 foes, with 11 in the top 50 and 17 in the top 100.
  • Of the 17 regular-season matches, 12 came against top-100 RPI teams in the final 2014 report.
  • Ten of those ranked in the top 50, five from C-USA (Charlotte, Kentucky, UAB, Old Dominion and New Mexico).
  • Four foes made the NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason Top 25, with five more among those receiving votes.
  • Eight of the Gamecocks’ opponents made last year’s NCAA Tournament.

Offense Highlights for the Gamecocks

  • Junior Danny Deakin leads South Carolina with 12 goals and has three game-winners.
  • Deakin recorded a hat trick and two braces already this season and is the first Gamecock since Sam Arthur in 2008 to tally 10 goals in a season.
  • Deakin’s three vs. UNC Greensboro on Sept. 8 came almost exactly 14 years after the previous Gamecock hat trick, as Jordan Quinn recorded his on Sept. 9, 2001, against TCU.
  • The braces (two-goal matches) came in home wins over No. 8 Elon, scoring both in the second half, and Florida Atlantic, tallying both in the first period.
  • Senior Jeffrey Torda has four Gamecock game-winners, the second getting national recognition.
  • His scissor kick goal made the No. 2 spot on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays for Aug. 31.
  • Kevin Walker also has five goals, giving the Gamecocks three 5+ goal scorers for the first time since 2010.
  • Junior Koty Millard has a goal and a team-best five assists, tying senior Ryan Arambula in helpers.
  • The year 2010 was also the last time the Gamecocks had two players with five assists each.

The NCAA Division I Active Wins Leader: Mark Berson

  • NCAA Division I’s active wins leader, Mark Berson is fifth on the Division I wins list and 15th on the all-divisions listing with 483 career victories in 38 years.
  • To add to the aforementioned ranking, Berson is tied with Maryland boss Sasho Cirvoski for the most appearances for an active head coach in the NCAA Tournament with 21.
  • He has 472 wins at South Carolina as the only head coach in program history, and he had 11 in 1977 at The Citadel.
  • He’s one of four coaches in NCAA Division I history with 450 wins at one institution.
  • Berson coached his 750th collegiate match vs. Kentucky on Oct. 25, 2014, while his 750th South Carolina match came in the 2-1 win over Florida Atlantic on Oct. 9, 2015.
  • 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).

Gamecocks Repeat History with Undefeated Home Record

  • The Gamecocks posted an undefeated record (8-0-2) at Stone Stadium this season, the second time in program history a team has not lost a home match.
  • The previous season that South Carolina went undefeated at home all year was 1993, going 10-0-1.
  • That team won the Metro Conference title and played in the NCAA Championship Match.

Gamecocks Keep CoSIDA Academic All-District Streak Alive with Two Picks

  • Senior Jeffrey Torda and junior Ive Burnett gained CoSIDA Academic All-District 4 honors on Oct. 28.
  • Torda garnered his second selection, while Burnett took home his first.
  • The Gamecocks have had at least one honoree in each of the past 10 years and have had multiple students make the list for three consecutive years now.
  • The two move onto the national ballot. The CoSIDA Academic All-America Teams will be announced on Nov. 24.

Gamecocks Serve Columbia Community During Floods

  • Twice in the week after the unprecedented storms caused creeks to swell and lake levees to breach, this Gamecock team stepped out to help.
  • On Thurs., Oct. 8 and Sun., Oct. 11, they assisted at centers helping those most affected, spending the first day at Harvest Hope Food Bank and the second at Rosewood Baptist Church.
  • Donations were also taken at the Gamecocks’ match on Fri., Oct. 9 against Florida Atlantic.
  • Relief efforts continue, and the South Carolina athletic department continues to help.
  • The University of South Carolina teamed up with local vender School Cuts to sell a T-shirt, with proceeds benefiting three non-profits who are assisting with the cleanup.

Three Weeks Produce Big Awards for Gamecocks

  • Twice this season, South Carolina has earned three awards in a week for its play.
  • After downing No. 8 Elon and No. 7 New Mexico, William Pyle earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors and made the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week.
  • Danny Deakin garnered College Soccer News Team of the Week honors that week as well as on Nov. 2 after his two goals in wins over FIU and No. 13 Old Dominion.
  • Deakin claimed C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 2 as well, while junior Koty Millard took a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week on Nov. 3.
  • Millard claimed the league’s Defensive Player of the Week honors on Nov. 9 after helping the Gameccocks shut out No. 11 Coastal Carolina.
  • Two Gamecocks made the 2015 Conference USA All-Tournament Team, junior Kurtis Turner and freshman Torgeir Nyboe.

Attendance Outstanding at Stone Stadium

  • In the 2015 season opener, 4,325 fans packed the stands for the eighth-largest crowd to watch a men’s match in Stone Stadium’s history.
  • In the Nov. 16 report from the NCAA, South Carolina ranks ninth in average attendance this season, with 2,245 fans counted through 10 home matches.
  • Over 1,000 season tickets were sold for Gamecock Soccer in 2015.
  • The first two exhibitions of 2015 had over 4,000 students scan in for each, filling the stands.
  • The 2014 Gamecocks had the fifth-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.

Scouting UC Santa Barbara

  • The Big West regular season champs are 13-6-2 on the season, going 8-2-1 at home.
  • The Gauchos boast of the highest average attendance in NCAA Division I at 3,965.
  • Offensively, UCSB runs an aggressive attack, taking more shots than its foes (300-215) .
  • The Gauchos also take more corner kicks (109-88) and have drawn five penalty kicks, making all, while only giving up one.
  • Nick DePuy leads the team and ranks second nationally with 15 goals. The two-time Big West Offensive Player of the Year also tops NCAA Division I with eight game-winning goals.
  • Big West Freshman of the Year Geoffrey Acheampong tops the team with 10 assists, which ranks ninth nationally.
  • Ahinga Selemani and Kevin Feucht both have five goals and 12 points, tied for third on the team.
  • Feucht has four of the Gauchos’ five penalty kick goals.
  • Justin Vom Steeg leads the team in goal with a 1.15 goals against average in 1,719 minutes.
  • He’s stopped 59 shots and posted all six of UCSB’s shutouts.

Common Foes for South Carolina and UC Santa Barbara

  • The Gauchoes lost at New Mexico 2-1 on Sept. 4, while the Gamecocks downed the Lobos twice.

Roster Notes

  • South Carolina brings back 13 letter-winners and 16 members from the squad that made the 2014 Conference USA Tournament Championship Match.
  • Ten newcomers join the group: three transfers and seven freshmen.
  • The Gamecocks return 47 percent of their goals and 57 percent of their assists from last year.
  • Third-team All-Conference USA midfielder Kurtis Turner is the top returning scorer.
  • Turner has led the Gamecocks in assists in each of his first two years.
  • Junior goalkeeper Marco Velez is also back after playing 87 percent of the minutes in goal and recording three solo shutouts last season.

Homegrown Gamecocks Highlight 2015 Roster

  • Eight Gamecock players hail from inside the Palmetto State, highlighting Mark Berson’s commitment to recruiting and developing local talent.
  • At least three SC natives have started in 11 of the 13 matches, with junior Koty Millard starting every match.
  • For the past decade, South Carolina’s roster has increased its number of natives on the team, with six or more on each squad since 2006, a mark only hit twice in the previous 15 years.

The Gamecocks Shine in the Classroom as Well

  • South Carolina’s 16 returners have a total of 26 SEC Academic Honor Roll certificates and 25 Conference USA Academic Honor Roll notations between them.
  • Last season, 20 of the roster members picked up spots on each honor roll.
  • Ryan Arambula (three) and Jeffrey Torda (two) both own multiple C-USA Academic Medals, which go to honorees holding a 3.75 cumulative GPA or higher.
  • Both seniors also have CoSIDA Academic All-District nods.
  • Torda earned his second CoSIDA Academic All-District honor this season, and junior Ive Burnett joined him on the 2015 team.
  • Ten times, SC has garnered the NSCAA Team Academic Award, including in each of the past seven years.
  • Twice in the past six years, the Gamecocks have captured the top GPA in NCAA Division I according to the NSCAA.

Forwards Produced in Win Streak

  • Kevin Walker and Bjorn Gudjonsson came on strong during the Gamecocks’ four-match winning streak.
  • Walker scored the first Gamecock goal in three straight outings in the skein.
  • He now has five goals on the season, tied for second on the team.
  • He’s the first Gamecock since Mahamoudou Kaba in 2013 to score in three-consecutive matches.
  • Gudjonsson returned to the pitch at Marshall and promptly scored the game-winning goal, his first collegiate tally. He added an assist against No. 13 Old Dominion.
  • In the evolving alignment which shifted seniors Asa Kryst and Jeffrey Torda to the front line, 12 of South Carolina’s last 19 goals have come from the front line.

Beating Two Top-10 Teams in a Week Brings Recognition

  • The Gamecocks won their first game vs. an NSCAA top-10 team since 2013 by downing No. 8 Elon 3-1 on Tues., Sept. 22.
  • They followed that with a 2-1 overtime victory over No. 7 New Mexico on Fri, Sept. 25.
  • It’s the second time South Carolina has downed top-10 foes in consecutive matches, matching wins in 2000 over No. 3 Virginia and No. 8 Maryland (9/8-10).
  • Goalkeeper William Pyle earned the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week nod and made Top Drawer Soccer’s (TDS) Team of the Week for his efforts.
  • College Soccer News (CSN) put midfielder Danny Deakin on its Team of the Week after his two goals in the Elon win.
  • All four national polls recognized the Gamecocks, with the NSCAA putting the squad 19th in the country on Sept. 29.

11th Year for South Carolina in Conference USA

  • The 2015 season is South Carolina’s 11th 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 more, the Gamecocks won the league’s tournament, in 2005 and 2010.
  • South Carolina’s student-athletes have 49 all-league nods, 15 coming on the first team.
  • In C-USA outings, South Carolina owns a 44-30-16 (.578) mark.
  • On the road, that mark is 21-15-10 (.565). At Stone Stadium, that record is 23-15-6 (.591).