Carolina Drops UAB 1-0, Extends Unbeaten Streak To Eight
Oct. 15, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina men’s soccer team (8-3-1 overall, 3-0-1 C-USA) improved its unbeaten streak to eight matches with a 1-0 Conference USA win over UAB (6-5-3 overall, 2-2-1 C-USA) at home Saturday Night. The Gamecocks now sit alone atop the C-USA standings as the only remaining unbeaten team in conference play.
The first half was evenly played as both teams had scoring chances and stellar play from their goalkeepers. Senior William Pyle, who has been tough in the net all season long for Carolina, continued his stellar play with three first half saves.
Senior Kurtis Turner nearly scored from 30-yards out when he rocketed a shot at Blazer keeper Joe Kuzminsky in the 15th minute. Kuzminsky was able to punch the ball over the net after been knocked back by Turner’s dart.
The Gamecocks made some crucial offensive adjustments with their attack at halftime and it paid dividends in the 68th minute when senior Danny Deakin was awarded a penalty kick after drawing a foul from UAB’s Eder Mora.
Deakin fooled Kuzminsky with some pretty footwork and found the back of the net to give Carolina a 1-0 lead. The goal was Deakin’s second PK goal of the year and his team-leading sixth score overall. The Sheffield, England, native now has four game-winning goals in 2016.
The one goal lead was enough for the Gamecocks as they got more solid play from Pyle and their backline defense in the second half.
UAB looked to be on the break in the 78th minute for a possible scoring opportunity, but senior Matt McManis halted the attack as he flew across the field to clear the ball before a shot could be had for the Blazers.
Pyle finished the evening with five saves. The Charlotte, N.C., native improved his record to 8-1-1 overall as he notched his second-straight shutout Saturday night.
Head Coach Mark Berson on team taking over first-place in C-USA standings: “It’s great. We just take it literally one match at a time. It’s important in the league just to keep winning these games. Every point is important. This UAB team knocked off Kentucky. Tonight, FIU knocked off Marshall. There’s a lot of tough games that are all going to be close and important in the conference standings. It’s big. Now we’ve got Wake Forest coming in, who’s a great team, this midweek. It’s just one tough game after another. It’s a really good stretch for us right now, so it’s good to get a win.”
Deakin, who proved again tonight to be a lethal weapon on free kicks for Carolina, propelled his team to the win with his penalty kick goal in the 68th minute.
Pyle outdueled Kuzminsky in the net with a 5-4 advantage in saves.
- Senior midfielder Danny Deakin remains the team leader in points with 16 (6G, 4A).
- Junior goalkeeper William Pyle is now 8-1-1 on the year with 34 saves and four shutouts.
- Deakin leads the team in shots with 39 with freshman striker Luca Mayr close behind at 37.
- Mayr leads the team with 17 shots on goal and Deakin ranks second with 16.
- Carolina has four players with double-digit shots on goal: Mayr (17), Deakin (16), Kevin Walker (12) and Kurtis Turner (10).
South Carolina has a quick turnaround as it is back at home again on Tuesday night welcoming No. 6 Wake Forest to The Graveyard. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium. The Demon Deacons beat No. 2 Louisville 2-1 tonight at home in an ACC matchup.