Gamecock Men's Soccer Earns 2-2 Draw Against Bradley
Sept. 11, 2011
HANOVER, N.H. - The South Carolina men's soccer team (1-3-1) concluded action at the Dartmouth Classic with a 2-2 tie versus Bradley (4-0-2) on Sunday afternoon in non-conference action at Burnham Field in Hanover, N.H. Sophomore J.P. Rafferty and senior Stephen Morrissey scored goals for Carolina in the match.
"I'm very proud of our team," South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said. "We're disappointed to come out of here (Dartmouth Classic) with a loss and a draw. There is no question about that. Today we looked for improvement and we saw a lot of improvement."
"Today the guys did very well. They dug in, Bradley is a good team and it is a solid result. We're disappointed not to come away with a win."
Carolina held a 19-15 advantage in shots in the match, including a 10-6 upperhand in the second half. Rafferty tallied his first-career college goal, while Morrissey registered his second goal of the season. Sophomore defender Trevor Hubbard and freshman midfielder Emmett Lunceford each collected the first assist of their career in the match.
South Carolina goalkeeper Alex Long collected four saves in the draw, while Bradley netminder Brian Billings earned two saves. The Braves were led by Bobby Smith and Ross Williams, both scoring on unassisted goals.
Gamecock midfielder Chipper Root nearly gave South Carolina an early lead on a one-touch shot in the 14th minute. Defender Mike Mangotic brought the ball over the midline out of the defensive third and found Root at the near side, but the strike just missed, hitting off the post for a Bradley goal kick.
Bradley found its offensive momentum midway through the half. Long collected a save in the 20th minute on a shot by Davies-Campbell, and the Braves' Bryan Gual and Christian Meza both missed wide near the 25-minute mark.
Rafferty's first-career tally came with eight minutes remaining in the opening half. Hubbard battled a Bradley defender for a loose ball near midfield, and sent a through ball to Lunceford down the right hand sideline. Lunceford sent a long cross to the far post, where Rafferty connected on a header past Billings for the 1-0 Gamecock lead.
The Braves evened the match on a penalty kick opportunity with just 29 seconds remaining in the first stanza. After a foul by a South Carolina defender Smith sent a low shot straight down the middle of the goal for the equalizer.
Morrissey and sophomore forward Bradlee Baladez both had shots on goal early in the second half, but Bradley was the first to mark the scoreboard in the 72nd minute. Following a Braves corner and deflection in the box, Williams hit a one-time shot to the left side of frame for the 2-1 Bradley advantage.
South Carolina continued to press on the offensive end, drawing a penalty kick in the 85th minute. Root was fouled inside of the penalty area and Morrissey sent a strike to the right side of goal to knot the score at 2-2.
Baladez had an attempt in the 86th minute and Long saved a high strike from Jochen Graf in the 87th minute, but with the contest still tied at the end of regulation the team's began the first of two 10-minute golden goal overtime periods.
South Carolina registered two shots in the first overtime, the first from Morrissey and the second a near miss by Root with just over one minute remaining, but the contest would go into the second overtime.
Bradley threatened with six minutes remaining in the match. A cross by Gaul skimmed across the Gamecock six-yard box before an eventual clearance by a Carolina defender.
Long challenged a shot by Graf with 49 seconds remaining in the match, and the score held through the final minute of OT for the 2-2 final score.
South Carolina continues non-conference action next weekend when it hosts the annual Gamecock Classic. The Gamecocks are set to face Brown and High Point in the two-day event.
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).