Oct. 3, 2017
Men's Soccer vs. Virginia Tech
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina (4-6-1, 0-2-1 C-USA) came up short Tuesday night at Stone Stadium in a 3-2 loss to Virginia Tech (7-4-0, 2-2-0 ACC). Luca Mayr and Chandler Corley scored goals for the Gamecocks in the team's final home nonconference match of the 2017 season.
Carolina was aggressive early dictating the tempo with several quality transition attacks that lead to two corner kicks in the first 20 minutes. The Gamecocks had a great scoring chance in the 20th minute when Trgve Ellingstad and Mitchell Myers each unloaded shots on goal from inside the box just 10 seconds apart.
In the 24th minute, Luca Mayr dribbled down to just outside the six from midfield and unloaded a shot on target far post. Hokie keeper Ben Lundgaard made a great save, his third in a three-minute stretch to keep the match scoreless. Virginia Tech had two dangerous chances in the 33rd and 36th minutes, but senior William Pyle was there to make the stop both times for Carolina.
The match was scoreless at halftime as Carolina held a 8-7 edge in the shot column and a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks. Both teams had three high-quality shots on goal.
The Hokies had a great chance right out of the break after being awarded a free kick. Jon Ingason ripped a dart from 22-yards out right at the net, but Pyle scooped it up for his fourth save of the match. Carolina struck pay-dirt in transition moments later in the 53rd minute when Ellingstad played a beautiful ahead to Mitchell Myers. He floated a perfect ball to Mayr who knocked it in far post to put the Gamecocks ahead 1-0.
From there Virginia Tech was able to take control and keep possession in their attacking half, tallying seven shots and two goals over the next 12 minutes. Justus Kauppinen tied the match in the 63rd minute with a header to the far post from eight-yards out. The Hokies then took the lead 2-1 in the 67th minute as a Kristo Strickler scored right in front of the net from a yard out.
Carolina kept battling and had a great chance to tie the match in the 76th minute. Justin Sukow had the ball in the center of the box about 15-yards out with two Tech defenders closing in on him. He flicked a gorgeous pass backwards to an open Myers who took aim and fired a shot wide right.
The Hokies took control of the match late in the 88th minute when points-leader Marcelo Acuna scored a penalty kick goal to put his team ahead 3-1. Chandler Corley scored a late goal for Carolina with 20 seconds on the clock from close range, but Virginia Tech held on for the 3-2 victory.
"They were able to get the ball wide and create some opportunities in the second half. We were really working hard to try and prevent that. They did a good job getting balls wide, opening up spaces and that was key to their attack. I thought it was very important that we came back and got the second goal late. There was never any quit in these guys all night long. They fought hard. Another penalty was called tonight, and that's difficult. That's just one of those things that happens in a match." -- South Carolina men's soccer head coach Mark Berson
Virginia Tech was able to get wide with their attack in the middle portions of the second half, tallying two goals on seven shots in a 12-minute stretch.
The Hokies outshot Carolina 12-5 in the second half and had a 4-0 advantage in corners.
The Gamecocks hit the road for a tough C-USA match at No. 20 Kentucky (6-2-2, 3-1-0 C-USA) on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on SEC Network+/WatchESPN.
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