Carolina Upsets No. 12 Kentucky, 2-1, On Senior Night
Nov. 4, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – – It was a special night at Stone Stadium Friday as South Carolina (10-6-1 overall, 5-2-1 C-USA) upset No. 12 Kentucky (11-4-2 overall, 5-3-0 C-USA) 2-1 on Senior Night. Sophomore Andre Streete scored the go-ahead game-winning goal in the 86th minute after heading in a corner kick by senior Danny Deakin.
The first half was high-paced as each team had several chances to put the ball in the back of the net. The Gamecocks got on the board just before halftime when sophomore Bjorn Gudjonsson scored in the 44th minute after sneaking a left footed shot past Kentucky’s Stuart Ford to the far post. Trygve Ellingstad fed Gudjonsson on the goal with a great ball in front of the net.
Gudjonsson is now tied with Deakin for the team lead in goals with seven. He’s second on the team in points with 15 (7G, 1A).
The teams headed into halftime even in the shot column at 6-6. The Wildcats held a 3-2 edge in shots on goal. Goalkeeper William Pyle had two huge first half saves for Carolina on two darts by UK’s Napo Matsoso, one of the top players in Conference USA. Pyle finished the night with four saves.
The Wildcats evened the score early in the second half on a penalty kick goal by Jordan Wilson in the 50th minute. The PK was setup after a handball was called on the Gamecocks in the box.
The team’s tightened up defensively for much of the remainder of the match before a flurry of shots by South Carolina that began in the 85th minute on a rocket by senior Koty Millard from 20-yards out.
The Gamecocks tallied four shots and had two corner kicks in roughly a minute. Early in the 86th minute, senior Kurtis Turner booted a shot at the goal that was blocked. Streete then sent his rebound shot high over the net setting up a corner kick by Deakin. Streete redeemed himself and headed in the game-winner for his first career goal on the textbook left-footed bender by Deakin.
The win was South Carolina’s second over a ranked opponent this season, the first coming back on Sept. 20 after the Gamecocks knocked off No. 18 Furman 3-0 on the road.
Tonight’s match had huge implications for next week’s C-USA Tournament. Carolina will now be the No. 2 seed in Huntington, W. Va. after bypassing UK in the C-USA standings Friday night to finish second in the league with 16 points.
Head Coach Mark Berson on significance of the win going forward: “I feel like this was really important for us as far as the NCAA Tournament. We needed to get a win over a top team. We’ve played a bunch of teams close. I feel like our guys all along have had the belief. They’ve stuck to what they’ve done. They kept fighting, and tonight they got the win. It’s a big one for us. It gives us a little momentum going into the conference tournament. We’ve just got to keep pushing.”
Streete’s first career goal in the 86th minute could not have come at a better time. He finished a flurry of chances for the Gamecocks that powered the team to the win Friday night.
The shot column was even for much of the match, but Carolina finished the game with a 14-9 advantage in shots.
- Sophomore midfielder Bjorn Gudjonsson tallied his seventh goal of the season tonight. He’s now tied with senior Danny Deakin for the team lead in that category. Gudjonsson is second on the team in points with 15 (7G, 1A).
- Deakin remains the team leader in points with 20 (7G, 6A) after tallying his sixth assist of the season on Andre Streete’s first career goal in the 86th minute.
- Junior goalkeeper William Pyle is now 10-4-1 on the year with 56 saves and four shutouts. He posted four saves in tonight’s win.
- Senior Kurtis Turner led the team with three shots (1 SOG). 10 different Gamecocks logged shots in the team’s balanced offensive attack.
- Carolina had five shots on goal in the match, all coming from different players.
The Gamecocks travel to Huntington, W. Va. for the C-USA Tournament next week. Carolina, who will be the No. 2 seed, will play its first match Wednesday.