Gamecock Men's Soccer Suffers 2-0 Loss To Brown
Sept. 16, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina men's soccer team suffered a 2-0 loss to Brown in its opening contest of the Gamecock Classic on Friday evening at Stone Stadium. Sophomore midfielder Chipper Root led the South Carolina attack with three shots, including one on goal in the match.
"Very tough night for us. I think the team played actually pretty well. I think what you saw tonight was the difference between a senior dominated team and a younger team. Brown found a way to win the game. I thought in the first half we played very well, and we made a mistake and they pounced on it. Then in the second half they took advantage of a situation again due to some experience on the corner kick, and found a way to score.
"I think our guys played very hard, they never gave up, and they worked very hard. And that's what we expect. Those are the building blocks we need to have to keep moving forward. Difficult loss for us tonight, Brown is a good team. "
South Carolina (1-4-1) held a slight 12-11 upperhand in shots in the match, while Brown held a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal. Root posted three shots, while junior defender Mike Mangotic and sophomore forward Bradlee Baladez contributed two shots each. Gamecock netminder Alex Long collected four saves.
Senior forward T.J. Popolizio led the Bears (4-1-0) with both goals on the night, while senior forward Sean Rosa, senior midfielder Mike Manella and junior midfielder Kevin Gavey each collected an assist in the match. Rosa paced the squad with three shots. Brown netminder Alex Carr collected three saves in the shutout.
A combination play between Baladez and Root in the 23rd minute nearly gave South Carolina an early lead. Root sent a strong through pass across the Brown six-yard box towards senior midfielder Vance Benson at the far post, but Benson's touch was just wide of frame.
The Bears would score the eventual game winner just two minutes later when Popolizio scored on a loose ball in front of the Gamecock net. Popolizio sent a pass towards Rosa, who hit a strike, which was saved by Long, but directly towards Popolizio who was able to hit a one-time shot for the tally.
The score would hold through halftime until the 47th minute when it was again Popolizio for the Bears. Off a corner by Manella, Gavey redirected the cross with a header towards goal, which hit off the cross bar and was headed in for the goal from Popolizio.
Baladez hit a long attempt from 40-yards out in the 60th minute that was high over frame and Mangotic had a shot saved by Carr with 18 minutes remaining, but the Gamecocks were unable to mark the scoreboard, as the Bears earned the 2-0 win.
Kentucky earned a 2-1 overtime win over High Point in the opening match of the Classic on Friday. Matt Lodge scored the game winner for the Wildcats.
Action at the Gamecock Classic concludes on Sunday with Kentucky vs. Brown at 11 a.m., followed by South Carolina vs. High Point at 1 p.m.