Gamecocks Open Season Friday Night At Home
Aug. 24, 2017
Men’s Soccer vs. USC Upstate
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina men’s soccer opens the 2017 season on Friday night at Stone Stadium versus USC Upstate. The match will begin at 7 p.m. with gates opening 1 hour prior to kickoff. The Gamecocks are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the program this season, which was established in 1978.
South Carolina soccer matches are included in the Athletics Department’s clear bag policy for all ticketed athletics events in a move designed to provide a safer environment and more expedited entry for fans. The policy will limit the size and type of bags that may be brought into South Carolina Athletics events. Information on the Clear Bag Policy and other Game Day Policies can be found online.
FROM THE COACH
“The stuff we’ve given the guys to start with they’ve really taken to, so we’re happy with that. We’re just trying to build and keep getting better every day. We expect a very high-tempo, pressing game. We’re going to try and really push the tempo and take it to them. We’ll need the fans behind us the whole time. ” — Justin Cook
SCOUTING USC Upstate
Longtime head soccer coach Greg Hooks retired in July after 22 seasons leading the program. After serving as an assistant for four seasons, alum Scott Halkett has taken over the reigns and is in his first season as head coach. The Spartans were picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll after coming off a 3-10 overall record and 1-5 conference record in 2016. An experienced group returns for Upstate, with 10 starters and 22 letterwinners back for the 2017 season. Senior Lukas Sommer was voted ASUN Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Sophomore Joel Buntint, who started all 13 games in 2016, led the team in points with nine a season ago (4G, 1A). Senior Santiago Restrepo is back after starting seven games last season in the net. He went 2-5 and made 28 saves, good for a .683 save percentage and a 1.95 GAA.
The Gamecocks return home on Monday, Aug. 28 to face Mercer at 7 p.m. It’ll be a rematch of last year’s NCAA First Round game at Stone Stadium, which Carolina won 1-0.