Gamecocks Dominate Royals 4-0
COLUMBIA, S.C. – It was a busy night for the stadium lights and scoreboard operator at Stone Stadium Friday (Sept. 8), as the South Carolina men’s soccer team (1-3-1) had the light show going all night in their 4-0 shutout victory over Queens University Charlotte (1-2).
All four goals were scored by a different Gamecock, while Mika Habel had two assists on the night. In goal, Ben Alexander finished with four saves in the match to earn his first shutout of the season. Overall, South Carolina held a 10-9 margin in total shots and 6-4 in shots on goals, while the Royals held the corner advantage 3-2.
Queens had the first shot of the night in the ninth minute, but it was the Gamecocks striking first. In the 21st minute, Habel found a sprinting Ethan Dekel Daks inside the 18-yard box. He beat a pair of defenders and found the back of the net to the upper 90 of the near post. It was his first goal of the season and his career.
Both sides put a shot on goal over the final 15 minutes of the first half, but the score would remain the same going into halftime. Dekel Daks nearly found the back of the net in the 32nd minute, but the Queens goalkeeper made the save.
It took South Carolina 10 minutes to score in the second half, but that was only the beginning. In the 55th minute, freshman Jonah Bigger notched his first collegiate goal on an assist from Kasper Lehm. Lehm put a free kick inside the 6-yard box, where it found the head of Bigger, who put it home into the bottom right corner.
Two minutes later it was the veteran Adam Luckhurst putting it home for his second goal of the season. Habel settled the ball just outside the 18 and found Luckhurst just ahead at the top of the box. Luckhurst took a dribble and buried it home off his left foot into the upper left 90.
The final goal of the night came with 1:57 to play in the match. Damola Salami fed the ball out wide to the right to a sprinting Jack Burgess. After a dribble, he found Martin Yahia alone in the far side at the top of the 6-yard box, and he drilled it home to the far post for his first career goal.
Carolina scored four goals in a match for the first time since Sept. 29, 2021, in a 4-1 win over Winthrop. It was the first time they had five assists in a game since Sept. 5, 2006, against Centenary.
South Carolina wraps up its homestand when it hosts Winthrop September 12 at 7 p.m.