Carolina headed west to face New Mexico
Gamecocks seeking first win in C-USA play
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina (3-7-0, 0-4-0 C-USA) travels west to take on New Mexico (3-9-0, 1-3-0 C-USA) in conference play on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET.
“This is a big match for us in Conference USA play,” said head coach Mark Berson. “New Mexico is a very talented team and they are very tough to play at home. They are well coached. We always have great games with them. Our guys have worked hard this week, and we have continued to improve. We look forward to the challenge.”
The Gamecocks lead the all-time series, 3-2-1, and are seeking their first win in Albuquerque in two previous trips. Last season, Carolina drew with the Lobos, 2-2, at Stone Stadium.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO
The Lobos have had six close losses by one goal or less against quality competition, however, they’re fresh off a 4-0 loss at UAB (Oct. 6). Omar Grey and Matt Puig are tied for the team lead with 11 points each. Grey leads the team with five goals, while Puig has four goals and three assists. Nick Taylor, who has three goals and three assists, leads the team with 28 shots and 10 shots on goal. Tom Smart leads the team with six assists, which is tied atop the C-USA. Five different players have scored two or more goals for New Mexico. Defensively the Lobos have allowed 23 goals and rank eighth (1.92) and seventh (1.88) in goals allowed and goals against average respectively. Ford Parker has made nine starts (2-7-0) and ranks second in C-USA with 40 saves.
Junior striker Luca Mayr scored the game-winning goal to knock-off No. 19 Virginia Tech, 2-1, in double overtime on the road in Blacksburg on Oct. 2. Sophomore Mitchell Myers intercepted a pass just inside midfield with time dwindling on the clock and found Mayr on the far sideline. The Steyr, Austria, native laced a shot from 30-yards out on target and found the back of the net far post with 19.4 seconds to go.
FOUR GOALS IN FOUR MINUTES
In South Carolina’s 5-0 shutout win against Wofford (Sept. 19), the Gamecocks scored four times in a 4 minute and 15 second stretch midway through the second half to break the game wide open. All five goals were scored by different players and two were unassisted.
It marked the most goals scored in a match by Carolina since a 5-4 win at FIU on Oct. 8, 2014. It’s also the 75th time the Gamecocks have scored five goals or more in the program’s 41 seasons of competition. The 5-0 score marked the widest margin of victory in a shutout since a 5-0 win at home against Gardner-Webb on Oct. 15, 2001.
No. 5 In Home Attendance
Through games played on Oct. 9, the Gamecocks rank fifth in the country in attendance average at 3,033 fans per game. Two of Carolina’s first three games this season currently rank in the top-15 for single-game attendance.
The season-opening crowd vs. No. 13 Georgetown (Aug. 24) drew 4,844 fans, the ninth largest crowd in NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer in 2018. The Gamecocks’ annual rivalry game against Clemson (Aug. 31) drew 4,441 fans, the 13th biggest crowd. South Carolina welcomed 12,937 fans combined for its first three matches of the season (4,312 avg.).
OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
The South Carolina men’s soccer team supported Ovarian Cancer Awareness all month long in September by wearing teal warmup jerseys for their matches. In addition to the teal warm up jerseys, the Gamecock coaching staff and support staff wore teal polo shirts.
The team is promoting awareness for this cancer and encourages women to get regular checkups. Contact your local ovarian cancer support group for more information at 888-682-7426 or visit the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s website at http://www.ovarian.org. Remember, NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE!
The Gamecocks have a quick turnaround, welcoming in No. 2 Wake Forest (11-1-0, 4-1-0 ACC) to Stone Stadium on Tuesday night for a non-conference midweek battle. It’s Gamecock Club Appreciation Night as all Gamecock Club and Junior Gamecock Club members receive free admission by showing their Gamecock Club membership card or wearing their Junior Gamecock Club t-shirt. Students also get double rewards points for attending the match.