Aug 18, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. - In South Carolina's first of two exhibition games, the Gamecocks continued on a strong first half before junior Asa Kryst broke things open for the home side in the second half as they defeated Mercer 1-0 on a rain-soaked night at Stone Stadium.
"I was really pleased. I thought it was a good opening effort for us. It was the first time we were able to play against someone other than ourselves, which is important. To get a shutout was important. Dealing with the adverse conditions, such as the rain and the lightening and the guys staying focused was a positive. On top of that, our play was good," said South Carolina head coach Mark Berson of the match.
The Gamecocks nearly took an early lead in the 14th minute as sophomore Jeffrey Torda got free down the right end line and put a hard shot across the face of goal that Mercer junior goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh was only able to deflect away. Kryst got on the end of the rebound, but Ranjitsingh was able to recover and make another save.
Eight minutes later, Mercer sophomore Jason Sayers found himself with an open shot at the top of the box after the Bears put a free kick off the wall. The low shot though was easily corralled by Gamecock redshirt-sophomore keeper Robert Beebe.
Holding a 10-4 shot advantage going into the half, the home side amped up the pressure in the second half, leading to Kryst's tally. After slipping past a defender just minutes earlier to set a scoring opportunity, the junior didn't miss on his second shot of the half.
Cutting across the face of the goal, Kryst hit a left-footed strike to the top center of the net to give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
The South Carolina attack continued throughout the half as shot after shot began to pepper the Mercer keeper. The Gamecocks finished the game with a 23-6 shot advantage with sophomore midfielder Jeffrey Torda leading the way with six. Kryst added three more attempts on frame. Ranjitsingh led all keepers with eight saves. Beebe tallied the Gamecocks only two saves of the night.
South Carolina will host its final exhibition match of the preseason Saturday against Elon at Stone Stadium at 7 p.m.
Season tickets for men's soccer, which includes admission to all home games, are currently on sale in the Gamecock Ticket Office. Fans can purchase tickets online at GamecocksOnline.com, or by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS. Cost for season tickets for men's soccer is $25 for adults and $10 for youth (17 and under).
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