Gamecocks fall in overtime, 1-0, to No. 13 Georgetown
Ian McGrane had seven saves in his first career start.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina (0-1-0) dropped a heartbreaker in its 2018 season-opener on Friday night, falling 1-0 in overtime to No. 13 Georgetown (1-0-0). Achara, the Hoyas second-leading scorer in 2017, slotted home the game-winner from inside the six in the 92nd minute.
“We got what I expected,” said head coach Mark Berson. “We worked hard and the effort was good, but that’s expected here when you put on a Gamecock uniform. I thought we played well in stretches. The game had ebs and flows. To start the second half, I thought we were really in control, playing very, very well. In every category, I think it was a pretty even match.”
The Gamecocks had two high-quality chances midway through the second half, but were unable to capitalize. In the 61st minute, junior forward Luca Mayr found some space in the middle of the field and ripped a shot on target from 25-yards out. Gianni Nikopolidis made an outstanding full-extension save to his left to keep the match scoreless.
In the 71st minute, junior transfer Drew Johnson laced a corner kick right in front of the net, but senior Peyton Ericson was just off target with his header. The Gamecocks had a free kick and another corner in the final minute of regulation, but were unable to create chances off of them. Four of Carolina’s five corners in the match came in the second half.
The Hoyas, who returned 16 letterwinners and 7 starters from last year, allowed just 15 goals in 20 matches and were one of the best defensive teams in the country in 2017.
Georgetown controlled the pace of the match early, maintaining possession for a majority of the first 20 minutes. Carolina had a couple chances on long-range transition shots by junior forward Luca Mayr. The Gamecocks flipped the script, out-shooting the Hoyas 7-1 the final 15 minutes of the opening half.
Carolina had its best chance to score late in the first half when junior midfielder Drew Johnson sent a bending cross into the six from the near sideline. Sophomore forward Ben Gilligan’s header missed wide right.
Senior Ian McGrane earned his first career start between the post and impressed, making seven saves on 13 shots by the opponent. Fellow senior Bjorn Gudjonsonn came off the bench and played 45 minutes logging one shot. It marked his first game action since the teams round of 32 NCAA Tournament game at Clemson (11/20/16). He sat out all of last season with a hip injury after leading Carolina with eight goals in 2016. Seven Gamecocks total made their debuts in Garnet and Black Friday evening.
The Gamecocks will be back at home on Monday night to face Lipscomb (1-0-0 ) at 7 p.m. ET. The Bisons opened their season with a 2-0 win at home against Belmont tonight. It marks the second of three matches to start the year for Carolina against 2017 NCAA Tournament teams. The Gamecocks square-off with their in-state rivals in the Palmetto Series Friday night at Stone Stadium. Kickoff against the TIgers is also slated for 7 p.m.