No. 20 South Carolina Battles No. 22 UCF To 1-1 Tie
Oct. 16, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The 20th-ranked South Carolina men's soccer team (7-3-2, 2-1-1 C-USA) battled through 90 minutes of regulation and two 10 minute overtime sessions, earning a 1-1 tie with Conference USA foe No. 22 UCF (8-2-2, 4-0-2) on Saturday night at Stone Stadium. Freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez scored South Carolina's goal, his team leading fifth tally of the season.
South Carolina was led by senior midfielder Blake Brettschneider with five shots and one assist, while Baladez contributed three shots, and junior midfielder Stephen Morrissey added two shots and one assist. Nik Robson led the Knights with six shots, including three on frame, while Yaron Bacher contributed six shots, including two on frame. Ben Hunt scored UCF's goal, his third of the season.
South Carolina goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected a game-best six saves in net for Carolina, while UCF counterpart Shawn Doyle earned two saves. The contest proved physical with UCF holding a slight 18-16 advantage in fouls. The Knights drew three yellow cards, against just one by Carolina in the match.
UCF held an 8-2 advantage in shots in the first half, but South Carolina finished the opening 45 minutes of action with a 1-0 lead. Morrissey collected a loose ball in the midfield and connected on a through pass to Brettschneider. After turning to face goal, Brettschneider sent a pass into the path of Baladez, who hit a strike past Doyle into the far post for the 1-0 Carolina lead in the 15th minute.
The score stood at halftime, but just six minutes into the final 45 minutes of regulation, Hunt earned the equalizer on a rebound in front of goal. Bacher hit a strike from well beyond the 18-yard box, which Hunt sent past Maurer on the rebound from three yards out.
Looking for the go-ahead goal late in the match, both teams continued to press on the offensive end. The teams matched shots, as both squads earned nine in the second half. Traynor sent a long cross into the Knight six-yard box with 22 minutes remaining, which Brettschneider connected on, forcing Doyle to make a save. UCF had three shots blocked in the final 10 minutes of regulation, and both teams played with an offensive mind the remainder of the half, but were unable to mark the scoreboard.
Both teams managed three shots in the opening overtime, with Maurer earning one save on a strike by Robson in the 96th minute. South Carolina had two shots blocked late in the set, but the first overtime session ended with the contest still tied at 1-1.
The Gamecocks dominated the second overtime, holding a 3-1 upperhand in shots. Carolina's best chance came just seconds into the overtime period, as Brettschneider sailed a header just over the crossbar. Bacher tallied UCF's lone shot of the set with three minutes remaining, but the attempt sailed wide, and both defenses held through the final minutes of the contest for the 1-1 stalemate.
South Carolina takes a break from conference action on Tuesday, traveling to face No. 3 North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Following the North Carolina contest, the Gamecocks resume C-USA action with their second road contest of the week, traveling to face Marshall on Saturday. Live stats for both matches will be available via GamecocksOnline.com.