Sept. 22, 2017
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina (4-3-1, 0-2-1 C-USA) battled wire-to-wire in a 2-2 draw with conference foe New Mexico (4-3-1, 0-1-1 C-USA) Friday night under the lights at Stone Stadium. A nifty give and go by Luca Mayr and Petter Soelberg nearly ended the match with 8 seconds remaining in the second overtime, but Jason Beaulieu came off his line sliding in front of Soelberg's close-range shot.
The Gamecocks had four excellent transition opportunities in the second overtime that nearly ended the match, none better than the final sequence. The first chance came after an on the mark service by Trygve Ellingstad from the wide side of the field in the 103rd minute. Beaulieu made a great play to get to the perfectly placed ball just before Spencer Meschter was able to get a header on it. In the 106th minute, Peyton Ericson served up an on target dish that sailed just deep of Mayr who was open in front of the goal. Another counter opportunity arose in the 107th minute after Soelberg made a quick touch pass to Mayr, who ripped a shot wide from about 25-yards away.
The Lobos had possession for a majority of the first overtime, tallying three shots and four corner kicks. Carolina's backline held firm on all the set pieces marking every man in the box. Devin Boyce sent one on goal in the 95th minute, but William Pyle made an excellent save diving to his right as Matt Morgan slid down to clear the threat. The Gamecocks had a solid chance early in the first overtime on a free kick by Mayr. He played his service in from just in front of the New Mexico bench to an open Ericson far post. Ericson tried to touch it back towards the net with his heel but he was off the mark.
Carolina took the lead 2-1 in the 72nd minute after freshman Mitchell Myers scored his first career goal. Myers unloaded a bullet from just outside the 18 after a cross in by Andre Streete was deflected back to him. Soelberg nearly put the game on ice for the home team in the 84th minute as he split the defense and hit a shot off the post from 20-yards away. New Mexico was able to get the equalizer in the 89th minute after Sam Gleadale corralled a deflection off his chest and ripped a shot near post just past the outstretched fingertips of Pyle.
The match was scoreless at halftime after an evenly played first 45 minutes. The Gamecocks came out on the attack to start the second half, tallying the game's first corner kick in the 47th minute. Ellingstad got a shot off form the corner that was blocked. Carolina found pay dirt moments later in the 50th minute has Mayr shook loose from four defenders and drew Beaulieu off his line. He made a great pass to freshman Justin Sukow who finished far post for his team-leading fourth goal of the year as the Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead.
The Lobos tied the match in the 61st minute on a free kick by Aaron Herrera. He served one into the box to Simon Spangenberg, who finished far post for his first goal of the season.
Both goalies were busy the final 65 minutes stopping a combined 10 shots on goal in the second half and overtime periods. Pyle finished with a season-high seven saves for the Gamecocks. The teams combined for 37 shots and 16 shots on goal Friday night.
"I think it was two really good teams going toe-to-toe. It was a great battle, they had one off the bar and we had two right there in the last five to eight seconds of the match and their guy made an unbelievable save where we could have won it. I think both teams played really hard - it's very disappointing to get tied with a 1:18 left. That's really disappointing and our guys are crushed by that, but it wasn't from a lack of effort and it wasn't from a lack of intensity. We just didn't do some things we needed to do, and we will learn from that. We have a pretty young team. Two freshman scored tonight - two guys that were playing high school soccer a year ago so that's how this team is sort of growing." -- South Carolina men's soccer head coach Mark Berson
Gleadle's late goal tied the match with 1:18 left and sent it to overtime.
Five different players tallied shots on goal for South Carolina's well-balanced offense.
The Gamecocks hit the road as they continue their tough nonconference slate to face No. 4 Wake Forest (7-1-0, 2-0-0 ACC). Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26 in Winston Salem, N.C. with the game televised on WatchESPN/ACC Network Extra.
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