Sept. 16, 2017
Men's Soccer at Marshall
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. -- A late second half comeback fell just shy on Saturday afternoon, as South Carolina (3-3-0, 0-2-0 C-USA) was defeated 2-1 by Marshall (5-2-0, 1-1-0 C-USA) at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex. Team captain Peyton Ericson headed the game-tying shot on goal with 12 seconds left in regulation, but it was saved by the Thundering Herd's Nate Himes.
Carolina had a solid chance early in the match around the 10 minute mark as Himes came off his line and passed it right to Trygve Ellingstad near midfield. Ellingstad floated a shot wide left at the open net.
Marshall had a 1v1 opportunity in the 19th minute, but junior Andre Streete was able to clear the ball after some stellar on-ball defending. The Thundering Herd were able to keep the ball in Carolina's defensive half a majority of the next 15 minutes, but the Gamecock defense held firm on every ball played into the box by the opposition.
Carolina had a great opportunity late in the first half as Spencer Meschter got loose down the sideline in transition, but the senior misfired his pass to an open Tucker Monheimer. C-USA points leader Lewis Knight fired a shot on goal near post in the 42nd minute but William Pyle made a great stop to keep the match scoreless at halftime. Marshall held a 5-1 edge in shots and a 2-0 advantage in corners after the first 45 minutes.
The Thundering Herd took the lead early in the second half scoring in the 48th minute. Knight split the defense on the near sideline and let loose a shot far post past Pyle for his seventh goal of the season. The Gamecocks had a great chance in the 59th minute after Mitchell Myers beat his defender just past midfield. The opportunity setup consecutive corner kicks for Carolina that came up empty.
Shortly after, Marshall used another transition counter attack on the near sideline to go ahead 2-0 in the 65th minute. From there the Gamecock offense would put the pressure on the home team the rest of the match. Freshman Benjamin Gilligan came on in the 77th minute and scored three minutes after coming on the pitch to pull Carolina within one. He rattled one home off a deflection to narrow the gap.
The Gamecocks nearly tied the match in the 82nd minute on a free kick from just inside midfield by Aleksander Bjerke Christensson. Meschter got a head on it towards the net with Gilligan flying in from the outside. Himes came off his spot to snare the ball just before Gilligan could get there as the two nearly collided. Carolina's best chance to send it to overtime would come on Ericson's header in the final seconds of regulation.
"Tough loss. We need to continue to work and improve. We have two top teams (Furman and New Mexico) coming into Stone Stadium next week." -- South Carolina men's soccer head coach Mark Berson
South Carolina was able to flip the field in the second half keeping the ball in its attacking half for much of the final 45 minutes, but Marshall's quick-strike counter attacks were crucial on their goals.
The Thundering Herd had just five shots in the second half, but their two scores were from close distance after winning 1v1 situations.
South Carolina returns home on Tuesday, Sept. 19, for a showdown with No. 15 Furman (5-0-0, 0-0-0 SoCon). The Paladins are led by Gamecock soccer legend Doug Allison. Another Gamecock great is also on Furman's staff in goalkeeper coach Charlie Arndt. Carolina remains at home and will face New Mexico (4-2-0, 0-0-0 C-USA) on Friday night at 7 p.m. in the team's annual Ovarian Cancer Awareness Match. All fans who wear teal will receive $1 admission.
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