Sept. 5, 2017
Men's Soccer vs. North Florida
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina (3-1-0) remained undefeated at Stone Stadium with its third home victory of the season 1-0 over North Florida (1-3-0) on Tuesday night. Freshman Justin Sukow tallied his second game-winner of the young season in the 13th minute.
The Ospreys came out controlling the ball in the opening 10 minutes, but the Gamecocks were able to strike quickly on a freshman-to-freshman connection early. Midfielder Petter Soelberg threaded the needle with a beautiful ball to Sukow right in front of the net. He finished for the score, his second goal of the season, which proved the difference in the match.
UNF continued to control possession in the opening 45 minutes after the score, but the Carolina defense was stout in limiting their chances. Senior goalkeeper William Pyle made a gorgeous kick save in the 35th minute on a close range shot to the near post by Jamal Manley West. The ball on goal would be the Osprey's best chance to even things up as the Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Carolina made adjustments and was able to turn the tide in the possession battle. The home team had two solid chances after a free kick by Christoffer Wallander Ianev into the box in the 54th minute.
Sukow got loose in the 56th minute on a 3v2 breakaway. He fired a touch pass to midfielder Mitchell Myers in the middle of the field, but Myers was just offsides. The Gamecocks had another breakaway chance shortly after but were whistled for offsides again on a close call.
Carolina continued to control possession before an onslaught of late chances by North Florida. Pyle notched three huge saves in the game's final 10 minutes, including back-to-back saves in the 81st minute.
"A win is a win, so we're happy however way we get it. For our defense working as hard as they are, it's really good to get him (William Pyle) into the shutout column and the team as well. A one goal game is a scrappy game, so we're very happy." -- South Carolina men's soccer assistant coach Tyler Kettering
The possession battle was crucial in the final 45 minutes. Carolina trailed 4-1 in corner kicks at the break, but was able to even things up 4-4 in that column in the 70th minute.
The Gamecock defense limited the Ospreys to just one shot in the second half up until the 80th minute.
The Gamecocks remain at home to open the Conference USA season on Saturday night versus FAU at 7 p.m. The Owls will be led into Stone Stadium by new head coach Joey Worthen, who played at South Carolina (1998-2001) and served as an assistant under Berson for five seasons (2012-16). As a player, Worthen helped lead the Gamecocks to 50 wins and three NCAA Tournaments in his career.
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