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Gamecocks Host Blazers In Crucial C-USA Battle Saturday
Men's Soccer  . 

Gamecocks Host Blazers In Crucial C-USA Battle Saturday

Oct. 14, 2016

Game Information

Date: Saturday, October 15, 2016

Game Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Columbia, S.C.

Stadium: Stone Stadium (5,000)

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Gamecock men’s soccer program (7-3 overall, 2-0-1 C-USA) looks to extend a seven-match unbeaten streak Saturday night at home as it plays host to UAB in a crucial Conference USA matchup. South Carolina and UAB are tied for second in the conference standings with seven points.

“I think Saturday night’s game with UAB will be another typical very high intensity, hard fought Conference USA match,” said Head Coach Mark Berson. “UAB comes into the match with two great results in their last three outings, defeating Kentucky, who’s a top-15 team, defeating Santa Clara — they’re on their stride right now. They’re always a very good team. Our matches with them are always really close and exciting. I think it will be another typical South Carolina vs. UAB match on Saturday night.”

The Blazers have yet to win a match on the road this season as they’re 0-2-2 away from the friendly confines of BBVA Compass Field. The Gamecocks lead the all-time series 11-5-1 and are 3-2-0 in the last five meetings between the schools. Carolina won last year 1-0 on the road in the team’s conference opener.

UAB is led by goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky. He’s started all 13 games for the Blazers, posting 54 saves and five shutouts. He ranks No. 5 in the nation with a .871 save percentage and No. 19 in goals against average at 0.585. His 54 saves rank 21st in the country amongst keepers.


– 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
– The Gamecocks return 17 letter winners and eight starters from last season’s squad that advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament
– South Carolina, which has been a member of Conference USA since 2005, has two C-USA Tournament titles and two regular-season crowns in 11 years
-Seniors Danny Deakin and 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
– South Carolina is currently on a seven-match unbeaten streak that dates back to a 2-1 overtime win vs. Georgia Southern on Sept. 13.
– Sophomore forward Bjorn Gudjonsson was named the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 3 after he scored three goals in two games. He recorded his first career multi-goal game vs. High Point on Sept. 28 with two scores. Gudjonsson also scored once in a 2-1 in vs. Marshall.
– Carolina’s win over Furman on Sept. 20 was its first of the season over a ranked opponent, as the Paladins were slotted No. 18 by Soccer America
– Senior Kurtis Turner was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 26 after scoring the game-winning goal at Furman and recording his second assist of the season vs. Georgia State
– The Gamecocks posted a season-high 27 shots and 11 shots on goal in their win vs. Georgia Southern
– Deakin (5G, 4A) leads the team in points with 14; senior Kevin Walker ranks second with eight (4G)
– Goalkeeper William Pyle is 7-1-1 and has 29 saves in nine games with three shutouts, good for an .829 save percentage and a 0.64 GAA
– Deakin leads the team in shots with 37; Mayr leads the team in shots on goal with 17
– Mayr scored his first career goal as a Gamecock vs. Mercer on Aug. 30
– Mayr tallied an individual single-game season-high five SOG vs. Georgia Southern
– Deakin leads the team with three game-winning goals, which ranks 14th in the nation


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.


The Blazers return 12 letterwinners and eight starters from a team that went 5-11-0 overall and 2-6-0 in C-USA play last season. UAB’s best win this season came on Oct. 8, when it knocked off No. 15 Kentucky 2-1 at home. The Blazers have a fairly balanced attack offensively. Massimo Ferrin and Henrique Sposito are tied for the team lead in points with seven. Each of them has scored a team-best three goals with one assist. Tarnue Tyler and Rami Dajani are tied for second on the team in goals with two. Five other players have scored a goal for the Blazers. Philip Makinde leads the team in assists with two. Goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky has started all 13 games in the net for UAB. He’s been one of the best goalies in the nation and ranks No. 5 in the country with a .871 save percentage and No. 19 in goals against average at 0.585. Kuzminsky’s 54 saves through 13 games rank No. 21 in the nation in total saves for goalies.