Oct. 14, 2017
Men's Soccer vs. No. 14 FIU
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina (4-8-1, 0-4-1 C-USA) dropped a 5-2 decision Saturday night at Stone Stadium to No. 14 FIU (8-0-3, 4-0-1 C-USA). The Gamecocks led 1-0 in the 51st minute, but the Panthers high-powered offensive attack scored four unanswered goals in the second half en route to the victory.
Luca Mayr scored his team-high fifth goal of the year early in the second half on a great cross into the box by senior Christoffer Wallander Ianev to give Carolina the lead. Mayr nearly scored again in the 55th minute as he intercepted a pass near midfield. He broke loose in a 1v1 situation and tried to float a shot over Hugo Fauroux's head from just outside the 18, but it missed high. FIU answered 10 minutes later as Paul Marie booted one home far post to the upper right 90 corner of the goal, tying the match 1-1.
The Panthers struck pay dirt again minutes later in the 64th minute on a set piece score. Marie's corner kick went right in front of the middle part of the six to a wide-open Jordan Machado, who headed the ball in for the goal as FIU took its first lead of the night 2-1.
FIU was relentless in its counter attacks, scoring two more times on another goal by Paul Marie in the 72nd minute and a goal by Matias Barraza in the 82nd minute. Both scores were unassisted. The Gamecocks had several outstanding chances trailing 3-1 before Barraza's goal to cut into the deficit, but were simply unable to finish. After two shots on goal from close range, sophomore Tucker Monheimer was able to find the back of the net in the 86th minute for his first goal in the Garnet and Black. It was Wallander Ianev again on the assist on another excellent cross into the six from the near sideline. Donald Tomlinson scored another goal for the Panthers in the 87th minute to seal the 5-2 win.
The match was scoreless at halftime after Carolina played a great first half, dominating possession and limiting FIU's chances. Both teams had just one shot on goal in the first 45 minutes. Andre Streete and Matt Morgan did a great job in the middle of the Gamecocks' backline neutralizing the nation's top goal-scorer Patino Santiago. He had three shots in the first half but was unable to get off any real quality looks at the net.
Carolina had three quality chances in the first half to get on the scoreboard. The first came in the 14th minute when Justin Sukow found open space from just outside the 18. He ripped a shot that missed wide right. Mayr played a perfect ball in on a free kick shortly after in the 15th minute as he placed it right between the six and the PK spot. Junior captain Peyton Ericson slid in to get a touch on the ball, but Fauroux was able to get to it before Ericson could get his foot on it.
Mayr nearly scored in transition late in the first half in the 40th minute as he tried to lace a shot past Fauroux. The FIU keeper came off his line though and was able to get a leg on it and deflect the high-quality look by Mayr out of bounds.
"The goals tonight came after we were pushed up after they took the lead, because we have to win this game and a draw does us no good. We were really pushing up to make sure we could get goals and it left us exposed in the back. Some of our decisions -- it was sort of like we were blitzing on every down to get the goal and we didn't get a goal. We kind of climbed back in it, but the goal margin at the end was due to us throwing a lot of players forward." -- South Carolina men's soccer head coach Mark Berson
FIU, the nation's leader in points per game and scoring, swung momentum with two quick goals early in the second half to take its first lead of the match after trailing 1-0.
Carolina held a 7-4 advantage in corners in the match, but the Panthers were able to get 10 shots on goal -- mostly on counter attacks -- in the second half after just one shot on target in the first 45 minutes.
For the second consecutive time, Carolina has no midweek game. The Gamecocks will have five days to prepare for a C-USA road battle at Charlotte (5-3-3, 2-1-2 C-USA) next Friday. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Transamerica Field against the 49ers, who beat FAU on the road tonight, 3-1.
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