Illian’s Late Game Heroics Give Gamecocks Senior Night Victory
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Jordan Illian’s goal with 33 seconds left in the match capped off a wild finish as the South Carolina men’s soccer team (5-7-3, 3-3-2) took down in-state rival Coastal Carolina 3-8-3, 1-5-2) 4-3 Friday night (Oct. 27) in Sun Belt Conference play.
Prior to the match, the Gamecocks honored their seven seniors: Peter Clement, Will Crain, Kasper Lehm, Laurits Lillemose, Adam Luckhurst, Jaiden Ramsay Kelly, and Brant Zulauf.
On the night, Carolina out-shot the Chanticleers 18-to-9, 10-to-6 in shots on goal, and 7-to-4 in corner kicks. In goal, Zulauf earned the win in relief on Senior Night, making one save. Ben Alexander started in net and played the first 73 minutes, making two saves.
The Gamecocks opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Jack Burgess took a free kick from near the left sideline. The free kick headed toward the goal and deflected off a defender’s head and into the net. It was Burgess’ second goal of the season.
Coastal Carolina responded in the 24th minute to knot the match going into halftime.
South Carolina broke the tie in the 58th minute. Damola Salami gave a touch pass up the right side to Harrison Myring near the end line. Myring played a cross into the middle of the box where Illian made a spinning move in the air to head the ball into the far post.
Carolina flipped the script in the 73rd minute when Illian played a chip shot from the left side into the middle of the box, and it was Salami with the header to the near post. The goal was Salami’s first of his career.
The Chanticleers answered quickly, scoring 28 seconds later. They would tie the match in the 88th minute off a free kick.
With the clock winding down, the Gamecocks had a breakaway opportunity. Illian played a header to Ethan Dekel Daks just outside the center circle. Dekel Daks played the ball forward up the left side to a sprinting Illian. He out-ran the Coastal defenders, before playing a perfect chip shot over the CCU goalkeeper into the far post for his first career brace.
Illian’s brace makes him the first freshman to score two goals in a match since Mike Lindsay against Kentucky on Nov. 9, 2007. Illian added an assist for a five-point night, becoming the first Carolina player since Jeffrey Torda at UAB on Nov. 3, 2013. Salami notched his first career multi-point match with a goal and an assist.
The Gamecocks wrap up the regular season Halloween night at 6th ranked Marshall for a 7:15 p.m. kickoff.