Gamecocks Head South For Conference Opener At FAU
Sept. 16, 2016
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (2-3-0) hits the road this weekend for its opening match in Conference-USA play at Florida Atlantic (1-2-1). The Gamecocks, who have been C-USA members for men’s soccer since 2005, have won two tournament titles and two regular season titles.
“FAU is off to a really good start this season,” said Head Coach Mark Berson. “They’ve been very, very competitive in all their matches early in the year. It’s important that we get off on a good foot. The most important thing is not really the competition. The most important thing is us improving. I think we still have a long way to go to be the type of team that we think we can be.”
Last season, midfielder Danny Deakin led the Gamecocks to a 2-1 victory over the Owls after scoring both Carolina goals. South Carolina outshot FAU 18-10 in the match, including a 5-4 advantage in SOG. Goalkeeper William Pyle notched the win in the net after recording three saves.
In last season’s conference opener, the Gamecocks tallied a 1-0 victory on the road at UAB. Asa Kryst scored the game-winner for South Carolina in the 55th minute of the match.
South Carolina will continue to wear teal warmup shirts for the contest to help raise awareness for ovarian cancer (read below for more details).
GAMECOCK QUICK HITS
– Mark Berson is the winningest active NCAA Division I coach, 5th on the all-time NCAA D1 list
– Berson is tied for the most NCAA Tournament appearances among active DI coaches with 21
– Since 2005, South Carolina has two C-USA Tournament titles and two regular-season crowns in 11 years
– The 2015 Gamecocks advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament
– The Gamecocks return 17 letterwinners from last season’s squad
– South Carolina returns eight starters from last season’s squad
– The Gamecocks were undefeated at Stone Stadium last season with an 8-0-2 record
– Senior midfielder Danny Deakin leads the Carolina offense after scoring 11 goals last season
– Deakin and fellow senior Koty Millard were both named to the 2016 Preseason All-C-USA Team
– Deakin was named to the CollegeSoccerNews 2016 Preseason All-America Second Team
-The Gamecocks posted a season-high 27 shots and 11 shots on goal in their latest win vs. Georgia Southern
– Deakin led the team with seven shots in the match (2 SOG) and freshman Luca Mayr was second on the team with six shots, including five shots on goal, an individual season-high for Carolina
-Senior Kevin Walker leads the team in points with six (3G); Walker scored his second game-winning goal of the season vs. Georgia Southern
– Goalkeeper William Pyle is 2-1 and has 14 saves in three games, good for an .824 save percentage
– South Carolina picked up its first win of the season on Sept. 4 after beating UCF, 2-1
– Mayr scored his first career goal as a Gamecock vs. Mercer on Aug. 30
– Deakin (19) and Mayr (18) rank 1-2 in the team lead for shots and are tied for second in points with four each
RECORD CROWD WATCHES SOUTH CAROLINA SEASON OPENER VS. CLEMSON
A new Stone Stadium attendance record was set last Friday in the 2016 season opener vs. Clemson, as 6,892 fans attended the matchup. The mark broke the previous record of 6,157, also set vs. Clemson on Sept. 3, 2010.
OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
The Carolina men’s soccer team is supporting Ovarian Cancer Awareness month in September by wearing teal warmup jerseys for their matches. In addition to the teal warm up jerseys and shoelaces for the South Carolina team, the Gamecock coaching staff and support staff will be wearing teal polo shirts, while the goalkeeper will be donning a teal jersey.
The Owls return 13 players from a squad that went 2-12-2 overall and 1-7 in conference play last season. As a team, FAU has totaled three goals, 42 shots and 17 shots on goal through four games. Junior forward Dylan Huber leads the team in shots (10) and shots on goal (4) this season. The owls have three players tied for the team lead in points with two: Jason Fitzgerald (1G), Elijah McDonald (1G) and Niko Gomez (1G). Goalkeeper Phillip Hitpass has logged 281:25 in three appearances with a 1-0-1 record, including one shutout. He has six saves on the year, good for a .667 save percentage. In FAU’s last outing on Sept. 4, the Owls played Wisconsin to a 1-1 draw. FAU finished the match with eight shots and four shots on goal. Hitpass logged two saves on three shots on goal by the Badgers. There were seven yellow cards in the match.