No. 24 South Carolina Suffers 2-1 Loss To No. 3 Clemson In Season Opener
Aug. 26, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 24 South Carolina dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 3 Clemson in its season opener on Friday evening. 6,892 fans were in attendance at Stone Stadium, the largest ever crowd in venue history.
The Tigers got the scoring started in the 14th minute when Austen Burnikel took a cross into the box and placed it low to the far side for a 1-0 lead. South Carolina wasted little time evening things up. Just 59 seconds later, a Torgeir Nyboe lob into the box found the head of Kevin Walker, who was able to put it home for his first goal of the season. Clemson reclaimed the lead in the 27th minute off of a free kick from 10 feet outside of the box by Aaron Jones. The teams entered the half with two shots on target apiece.
The second half saw neither team find the back of the net. Carolina’s best chance to knot things up came in the 51st minute when Bjorn Gudjonsson was sprung on a breakaway and took a shot in close that was saved by the Clemson goalkeeper. When all was said and done, the Gamecocks outshot the Tigers, 13-6.
Head Coach Mark Berson:
Overall thoughts on Friday’s contest: There’s a lot of positives in it. We’re tremendously disappointed with the loss. I thought we had a lot of play. I thought we dictated a lot of the play. Give credit to Clemson (because) in my view really against the run of play they were able to score a goal, and they capitalized on two mistakes that we made and that was costly, but I never felt like we were not in the game, we were not going to come back. They scored, we came right back and I thought the guys tonight did a good job. Credit Clemson, they’re a good team, and tonight the difference between the two teams was very slim and they were able to get the extra goal.
Clemson goalkeeper Ximo Miralles saved a Bjorn Gudjonsson shot on a breakaway in the 51st minute to preserve the Tigers’ 2-1 edge.
South Carolina outshot the Tigers, 13-6, and held an 8-5 advantage in corners.
- The defeat marks South Carolina’s first loss at home since Oct. 25, 2014, a 4-3 decision to Kentucky.
- Kevin Walker’s goal in the 15th minute was his first of the season and his sixth as a Gamecock.
The Gamecocks remain home for two more games next week. On Tues., Aug. 30, Carolina hosts Mercer at 7 p.m for the Ovarian Cancer Awareness game. Then, on Fri., Sept. 2, the Gamecocks will take on Rutgers. That match is slated to begin at 4 p.m.
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