Gamecocks Win Fifth-Straight, 3-1, Over High Point
Sept. 28, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. The South Carolina men’s soccer team (6-3-0) tallied its fifth-straight victory Wednesday night after beating High Point (5-3-1) 3-1 in front of 2,717 fans at Stone Stadium. Three second half goals powered the Gamecocks to the win, highlighted by two scores from sophomore Bjorn Gudjonsson. It was the first multi-goal game of his career.
The game got started roughly an hour late due to a weather delay.
Carolina had several solid chances to score in the early goings of the match but was unable to find the back of the net. The Gamecocks outshot the Panthers 10-4 in the first half, led by five shots from senior Danny Deakin with one of them on goal. Senior Koty Millard and freshman Luca Mayr also had shots on goal in period one. Millard fired a dart from 17-yards out, but it was stopped by goalkeeper Keegan Meyer.
High Point got on the scoreboard first in the 44th minute when Jon Bolanos broke by the Carolina defense and scored unassisted on the near post from seven-yards out to give the Panthers a 1-0 advantage heading into halftime. High Point had three shots on goal in the first half as well. Goalkeeper William Pyle had two first half saves, highlighted by a gorgeous full extension save in the 22nd minute.
It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the second half until Carolina was sparked by Gudjonsson’s first goal in the 69th minute. Deakin fed him perfectly off a corner kick, and Gudjonsson was able to head it in for the score to tie the match. The Gamecocks wasted no time to take the lead as Deakin was able to score his fourth goal of the season from eight-yards out off a textbook pass from sophomore Ben Davidson two minutes later in the 71st minute.
Gudjonsson provided some extra cushion in the 86th minute when he found the back of the goal for the second time off a feed from junior Christoffer Wallander Ianev.
Pyle tallied four saves in the second half to help propel Carolina to the win.
Head Coach Mark Berson on second half substitutions that sparked offense: “All three, Bjorn, Tryg and also Ben, lifted us and that’s really important. There’s going to be times when guys come in and we need not the same energy, but a higher energy level. We need them to lift the game, and they did that tonight. That was really, really important. Of course we had confidence that they would, but they certainly did. I was really proud of them for that.”
Deakin’s goal in the 71st minute, after the Gamecocks had just tied the score in the 69th minute, swung momentum back in favor of the home team.
Pyle recorded six saves on the night, including several stops in the second half to preserve the Carolina lead.
- Senior midfielder Danny Deakin leads the team in points with 12 (4G, 4A) after recording a goal and assist Wednesday night.
- Junior goalkeeper William Pyle is now 6-1 on the year with 25 saves.
- In the last two games, South Carolina has tallied nine goals, eight of which are by different players.
- Deakin now leads the team in shots with 32 and is tied for the team lead in game-wining goals with senior Kevin Walker at two.
The Gamecocks wrap-up a three-game home stand when they welcome C-USA foe Marshall (5-5 overall, 1-1 C-USA) on Sunday night to Stone Stadium. Carolina is 1-0 in conference play as they put their five-match win streak on the line. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The team will honor military members and veterans at the match.