Sept. 2, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina men's soccer team (1-1-1) battled through soaring temperatures to earn a 0-0 double-overtime draw with No. 25 Northwestern (1-0-2) on Sunday at Stone Stadium in action on the final day of the Gamecock Classic. In the day's earlier match, No. 15 St. John's earned a 2-1 victory over Kentucky.
"We like to measure ourselves against the best competition, and St. John's and Northwestern are very good teams," South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. "They are also two completely different teams and different styles of play, and it forced us to adjust in two games and play a little bit differently. I was very pleased that our players were able to do that.
"I thought we created enough chances today to maybe come out a little bit better than we did. Against St. John's, for 80 minutes it was a very even game, and a game that I think we were certainly in, but they found a way to convert on a couple of big plays late. I think we are growing and getting better as a team."
Hot temperatures played a major role in the contest on Sunday. South Carolina managed 14 shots compared to five by the Wildcats, with both teams posting three shots on goal. Northwestern had 12 corner kick opportunities, compared to eight by Carolina, and the Gamecocks committed 15 fouls against seven by Northwestern.
A trio of Gamecocks tallied a shot on frame in the match with junior forward Bradlee Baladez, sophomore forward Snoopy Davidson and freshman midfielder Jeffrey Torda all registering one shot. Netminder Alex Long collected three saves in the shutout, including two during overtime.
Northwestern was led offensively by forward Joey Calistri, who tallied two shots, including one on goal. Midfielders Kyle Schickel and Nick Gendron both added shots on frame and goalkeeper Tyler Miller collected three saves.
Carolina's first chance at frame came with 27 minutes remaining in the opening half when possession played through the Carolina midfield to defender Mike Mangotic on the left sideline. Mangotic found Davidson at the far post, but Miller collected a save on the strike to halt the threat. Baladez placed a shot towards frame moments later, but Miller once again came up with the save.
The match stood scoreless at the half and the team's traded possession through the second 45 minutes of play. Midfielder Niklas Kivinen narrowly missed on a free kick opportunity with 38 minutes left in regulation, and the Wildcats were not able to capitalize on six corner kick opportunities in the half.
With the contest tied at the end of regulation, the team's battled through 20 minutes of golden goal overtime, but the score stood at 0-0 for the tie. Long collected a save in each of the overtime sessions and the Gamecocks were held to just two shots in extra time, including a near miss by Davidson late in the second session.
South Carolina continues non-conference play when it travels to face South Florida on Thursday and Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday in the USF Tournament. Live stats will be available via GamecocksOnline.com.
St. John's earned the title at the 2012 Gamecock Classic with victories over South Carolina and Kentucky. Northwestern followed, posting a victory versus Kentucky and a draw with the Gamecocks, followed by South Carolina and Kentucky in third and fourth place, respectively.
The Gamecock Classic All-Tournament Team is below:
Offensive MVP: Jack Bennett, St. John's
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