Carolina Continues Home Stand Against Georgia State
Gamecocks to play host to Panthers on Thursday
COLUMBIA, S.C. —- South Carolina men’s soccer looks to build off its season opening victory this past Saturday when it plays host to Georgia State on Thursday at Stone Stadium. Kick is set for 7:00 PM ET and will be live streamed on gamecocksonline.com.
The Gamecocks (1-0) are search of a win to secure their first 2-0 start since 2017.
“It’s going to be another good test,” senior captain Kyle Gurrieri said. “I think we’re ready. I think we’re prepared. We got some confidence going into the game from this last win, and we just have to keep the momentum going and keep moving forward.”
Carolina opened the season on Sept. 19 against Georgia Southern in a match that served as the return to action for Gamecock Athletics. It was the first South Carolina event in 192 days.
South Carolina debuted seven Gamecocks in the match. Christian Krause, Innocent Twishime, Lorenzo Nagy, Peter Clement, Justin Kopay, Jake O’Connor and Sekou Soumah all featured in the opening match of the year.
Sophomore Logan Frost swept in with a goal assisted by Brian Banahan in the 31-minute mark to put the Gamecocks on top ,1-0, and from there the Gamecocks never looked back as they remained undefeated in eight tries all-time against the Eagles. This marked the second-straight year Frost scored in the opening match of a season.
Banahan later scored with nine seconds left on the clock to secure the 2-0 victory.
For their efforts, Soumah and Banahan were named to the TopDrawer Soccer’s Team of the Week. It was the first such honor for both Gamecocks.
The match will be Carolina’s first against Georgia State since Oct. 23, 2018. Carolina earned a 1-0 shutout victory in that contest and it holds a 12-1-0 advantage in the series that dates back to 1978.
“Well, Georgia State is a really good team,” head coach Mark Berson said. “They were 12-4 last year. They’ve a guy up top that scored 16 goals and they’ve got one of the top goalkeepers in the league and in the country, in the back. So very experienced, I think they return either eight or nine starters. So, this is a very experienced, tough battle-hardened group. This is going to be a really tough game for us on Thursday night.”
With a win on Thursday, Berson would move into a tie for the third-most victories in men’s soccer history. He currently sits in fourth with 515.
The Panthers opened their season with a 2-1 win over Mercer this past Friday as senior Aris Briggs scored both goals. Briggs notably finished seventh among all NCAA DI men’s soccer players in 2019 with 16 goals.
Georgia State opened last season undefeated through nine matches (6-0-3 record), surpassing the previous school record of seven games without a loss to start a season set in 1967. The Panthers return six starters from last season while welcoming nine newcomers to the program this year.
- Fans can watch all South Carolina home matches through gamecocksonline.com. Watch links can be found at the top of the story and on the men’s soccer portion of the website under “live streaming.”
- Brian Banahan is currently tied with 10 other people for the most assists in the country (1).
- Justin Bauer and Ryan Bilichuk are tied with Keagan McLaughlin of Notre Dame for the best save percentage in the country (1.000).
- Banahan also comes into the Georgia State match with the second-most shots (4). Team Logan Frost is tied with him.
- Carolina leads the country in corner kicks (9) through one match.
GEORGIA STATE SERIES NOTES
- Carolina leads the all-time series 12-1-0 and has won the past 12.
- The Gamecocks have outscored Georgia State 42-8 in the 12 matches.
- SC has posted seven shutout wins.
- The two teams have met outside of Columbia just three times.
GEORGIA STATE NOTES
- Senior Aris Briggs was named the Sun Belt Preseason Offensive Player of the Year earlier this month.
- Briggs was also one of four Panthers along with Matthews Fearnley, Ross Finnie and Paul Tyson to earn All-Sun Belt Preseason recognition.
- Tyson was also named one of the top 10 goalkeepers in the country entering the 2020 season by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
- Georgia State has appeared in five-straight Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship Games, last earning the title in 2018 before appearing in the NCAA Tournament.
For more information on the Gamecocks, continue to check back with gamecocksonline.com.