Gamecocks Face Mountaineers for Spot in Sun Belt Tournament Final
ORLANDO, Fla. – The South Carolina men’s soccer team looks to continue the momentum after upsetting No. 1 ranked UCF in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, when the Gamecocks face third-seeded and No. 7 ranked West Virginia in the tournament semifinals November 8 at 7 p.m.
Gameday Information – #WEareCarolina
When: November 8 | 7 p.m.
Where: Orlando, Fla.
Venue: UCF Soccer and Track Complex (1,475)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Series History: Tied 1-1-1
Last Meeting: West Virginia 3, South Carolina 2 | Oct 12, 2023 | Columbia, S.C.
South Carolina Gamecocks 6-8-3, 3-4-2 Sun Belt
Coach: Tony Annan | 3rd Season – 16-25-9
Goal Leader: 6 | Adam Luckhurst
Assist Leader: 4 | Kasper Lehm
Points Leader: 12 | Adam Luckhurst
Shots Leader: 31 | Ethan Dekel Daks
Saves Leader: 62 | Ben Alexander
#7 West Virginia Mountaineers 13-1-4, 5-1-3 Sun Belt
Coach: Dan Stratford | 4th Season
Goal Leader: 12 | Marcus Caldeira
Assist Leader: 9 | Yutaro Tsukada
Points Leader: 26 | Marcus Caldeira
Shots Leader: 70 | Yutaro Tsukada
Saves Leader: 41 | Jackson Lee
Taking the Pitch
- This will be the 4th meeting between the Gamecocks and Mountaineers.
- The two teams earned a 0-0 draw during a rain soaked match last season at West Virginia.
- The Mountaineers earned a 3-2 win earlier this season in Columbia.
- WVU went up 2-0, but the Gamecocks scored two goals two minutes apart to tie the match.
- The Gamecocks won the first meeting 2-1 in overtime in Columbia on Sept. 5, 1982.
- South Carolina leads the nation in both cumulative and average attendance (4,306)
- Carolina has hosted three of the top seven highest attended on-campus NCAA men’s soccer home matches this season (#5 – Old Dominion, #6 – Jacksonville, #7 – UNCW).
- They also claim nine of the top 21 spots in highest attended home matches (#10 – Georgia State, #12 – USC Upstate, #13 – Queens, #14 – West Virginia, #20 – UCF, #21 – Coastal Carolina), along with their road match at Clemson ranking as #11.
- Only Clemson, Creighton and North Carolina have two matches in the top-20.
- South Carolina is the only program in the nation to have all of its home matches (10) rank in the top-50 for attendance.
- Carolina defeated No. 1 ranked UCF 2-1 in the Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinals.
- It was their first win of a No. 1 ranked team in program history (0-4-1, previously).
- Jordan Illian scored the game-winner with 33 seconds left vs Coastal Carolina.
- Illian notched a brace, making him the first freshman to score two goals in a match since Mike Lindsay against Kentucky on Nov. 9, 2007.
- He also added an assist for a five-point night, becoming the first Carolina player with at least five points since Jeffrey Torda at UAB on Nov. 3, 2013.
- Jack Burgess scored his first goal as a Gamecock against UCF (10/22)
- Jordan Illian scored his first collegiate goal against Georgia Southern (10/18).
- Ethan Dekel Daks’ goal vs Old Dominion with five seconds left was the latest goal in regulation since Tucker Monheimer with one second left vs Jacksonville on 10/23/2019.
- For his efforts, Dekel Daks was named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week.
- The Gamecocks held Georgia State to one shot on goal. It was the first time since 2014 (also against GSU), that they’ve held a team to 1 SOG or less.
- South Carolina defeated No. 24 Kentucky for the first time since 2016 and the first time in Lexington since 2012.
- It was their first win over a ranked opponent since 2019.
- Ben Alexander was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week.
- He was the first Gamecock to win a Sun Belt POW award and the first defensive player to earn any POW honor since 2017.
- The Gamecocks tallied four goals in the match against Queens, their first four-goal match since scoring four against Winthrop on Sept. 9, 2022.
- Carolina also earned five assists in the match, the first time they finished with five in a match since Sept. 5, 2006, against Centenary.
- This is the 45th season of South Carolina men’s soccer.
- The Gamecocks have an all-time record of 527-286-85.
- South Carolina finished the regular season last year leading the nation in average attendance with 2,839 fans per game.
- The Gamecocks begin their second season in the Sun Belt Conference.
- Carolina was picked to finish fifth in the conference by the coaches.
- Peter Clement and Adam Luckhurst will serve as team captains for the season.
- The roster features 10 newcomers; five transfers and five true freshmen.
- They return eight starters from a season ago, including four starters in the defensive end.