Turner's Strike Before Midnight Gives SC a 1-0 Win in Opener vs. Belmont|
Aug. 30, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. - With a couple of ticks left before midnight, South Carolina sophomore midfielder Kurtis Turner blasted home a goal to send the Gamecocks (1-0-0) a winner in their season-opening match against Belmont (0-1-0) on Friday night in front of the fourth-largest crowd at a men's match in Stone Stadium history.
Turner drove home the winner from 25 yards away, polishing off a rebound from junior midfielder Ryan Arambula after his shot was blocked near the top of the box.
The Gamecocks had many chances, firing 26 shots, with eight coming on goal, compared to Belmont's five that never threatened the frame. Junior midfielder Jeffrey Torda nearly put in a bicycle kick chance in the 20th minute, but Belmont goalkeeper Grayson Rector made the equally-nice save by pushing the shot over the crossbar.
The end of the second half brought a fury of chances from the right side by sophomore midfielder Koty Millard, who nearly caused an own goal with one of his crosses in the 82nd minute. Torda had a header miss right on Millard's serve in the 83rd, while Millard forced a corner kick in the 86th minute, one of 14 tallied by South Carolina. With the seconds winding down, Arambula had a corner kick that after a Mahamoudou Kaba deflection found senior defender Braeden Troyer's head, but Rector made the save as regulation ended.
A few minutes before Turner's game-winner, Arambula drove in a shot from the right corner that hit the crossbar, and freshman forward Mikkel Knudsen tried to put in his rebound, but his shot missed high.
South Carolina posted its first clean sheet of the year, and sophomore goalkeeper Marco Velez spent more time helping the attack than stopping one. He had no saves while snuffing out challenges during the contest, including one in the 37th minute when he swept in on the left side and took away the Bruins' best first-half chance.
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