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Defense Leads Gamecocks to First Shutout of Season
Men's Soccer  . 

Defense Leads Gamecocks to First Shutout of Season

The Gamecocks only allowed seven shots, two of which came on goal

COLUMBIA—The South Carolina men’s soccer team earned its first shutout of the season, defeating Gardner-Webb, 1-0, on Tuesday night in Stone Stadium.
“I thought we defended very well tonight,” head coach Tony Annan said. “One of our problems has been defending the box, and I think we took a step forward. I’m proud of the guys for doing so. We’ve been working at it and talking about it a lot. Gardner-Webb is a good side and they put in a lot of good balls. We defended the box well with some grit, which is what I’ve been asking for, so I’m very happy with that.”
The defense led the way for the Gamecocks (3-6-0). They limited Gardner-Webb (2-7-0) to just seven shots. Only two of Gardner-Webb’s shots came on goal. Carolina fended off eight corner kicks in the match as well.
Carolina’s back line made light work for Tristan Himes, who started in goal. Himes only faced two shots on goal and saved them both. Himes’ effort included a diving save in the 63rd minute to keep the Gamecock advantage at 1-0.
Jordan Matthews netted Carolina’s only goal in the 36th minute. Peter Clement sent a pass to Matthews who was deep in Runnin’ Bulldogs territory. Matthews dribbled along the end line and sent a lofting shot toward the far post over the heads of Gardner-Webb defenders and the goalkeeper Mallel Rios.
The goal was the second of the season for Matthews. He has now collected five points (two goals, one assist) to tie Logan Frost for the team lead.
The shutout is the first for the Gamecocks under Annan and the first since Oct. 9, 2020, when they kept a clean sheet against Mercer. It is the first shutout Carolina has earned at home since Sept. 19, 2020, when Carolina defeated Georgia Southern 2-0.
Carolina moves to 4-0-0 all-time against Gardner-Webb with the victory on Tuesday night. Two of the Gamecocks’ wins against the Runnin’ Bulldogs have come as shutouts (Oct. 15, 2001, 5-0).
The Gamecocks return to action on at 7 p.m. on Sunday for a Conference USA tilt with Florida Atlantic inside of Stone Stadium.