Gamecocks Blank Alabama A&M for Fifth Straight Win
Sept. 10, 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The 21st-ranked South Carolina men's soccer team won its fifth straight game on Sunday with a 2-0 shutout of Alabama A&M in the adidas-Gamecock Classic finale at Stone Stadium. South Carolina (5-1-0) and Winthrop were declared co-champions of the event as both teams finished with 2-0-0 records.
"I'm very proud of our play this weekend," Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. "It was significant to earn two shutouts over two very good teams. When you think about it, going back to last year, our team is 17-3-2 in our last 22 games. We're off to a good start and we want to continue to build on it as we move through the season."
Following intermission, Carolina came out of the locker room with a sense of urgency and immediately put pressure on the Bulldogs. Sambursky broke the stalemate for the Gamecocks in the 50th minute. Spencer Lewis played the ball to Rob Charest and Charest chipped it into the 18-yard box and at Sambursky's feet. The preseason All-American stuck the ball into the lower right corner of the net to put Carolina on top, 1-0.
South Carolina struck again in the 79th minute as junior Daniel Upchurch tallied his first career goal. Shortly after coming on to the field, Upchurch fed Sambursky the ball on a give-and-go before burying a shot in the back of the net from inside the six-yard box.
The Gamecock defense secured its fourth shutout of the season. Carolina has given up just two goals in its five wins this season. Senior co-captain Ryan Leeton, senior Makan Hislop, freshman Mark Wiltse, freshman Mario Burstein and sophomore Brennan Williams anchored the back line. Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Gustavson made one save against the Bulldogs.
Sambursky, Charest, Hislop and freshman Jeff Scannella, who scored the game-winning goal in Friday's match against Temple, were named to the all-tournament team. Sambursky was also selected the Offensive MVP of the Classic.
Burstein returned from a concussion he suffered prior to the season opener to see is first action of the season today. Senior Ralph Pace missed today's match with a foot injury.
South Carolina's next match is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 17, against Davidson at Stone Stadium. The men's contest will follow a Noon match between the Gamecock women's team and Jacksonville State.
Winthrop beat Temple, 2-0, in the early match on Sunday. Dustin Bybee and Otto Loewy scored to send the Eagles to a 5-1-0 record.
Adidas-Gamecock Classic Recap
Offensive MVP: Mike Sambursky, South Carolina