Men’s Soccer Takes Down No. 1 UCF, Advances to Sun Belt Semifinals
ORLANDO, Fla. – For the first time in program history, the South Carolina men’s soccer team (6-8-3) took down the No. 1 team in the country, as they defeated UCF (10-3-2) 2-1 Sunday night (Nov. 5) in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. South Carolina is the No. 7 seed in the tournament, while the Knights were the No. 2 seed.
The Gamecocks were previously 0-4-1 against the No. 1 team in the country and earned their first top-5 road win since defeating No. 2 USF 1-0 on Sept. 6, 2012.
Despite UCF holding a 28-to-11 shot advantage, the Carolina defense limited the Knights to only seven shots on goal, with South Carolina tallying five. UCF also led in corner kicks 15-4.
The Gamecocks went on the offensive early and often, putting a shot on goal in the 2nd minute. It didn’t take long for Carolina to break through the defense of the number one team in the country. In the 6th minute, Harrison Myring out-ran two UCF defenders off a ball from Kasper Lehm. Myring struck the ball to the left of the goalkeeper and into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
South Carolina wasn’t done as they scored again in the 24th minute. Jordan Illian and Kasper Lehm played the ball to one another on a give-and-go. Illian dribbled up the left sideline and served the ball into the box, where it found Jack Burgess. He headed it just inside the near post from about 12 yards out for his third goal of the season.
The Knights got on the scoreboard in the 58th minute, scoring off a free kick.
The Gamecock defense fought off several UCF attacks but held them without a shot on goal the final 32 minutes of the match.
South Carolina goalkeeper Ben Alexander finished with five saves on the night. The Gamecocks were also credited with a team save.
Carolina advances to play third-seeded and No. 7 ranked West Virginia in the Sun Belt Tournament semifinals November 8 in Orlando at 7 p.m.