Gamecocks Cap Regular Season With 4-1 Win at UCF|
Nov. 6, 2005
ORLANDO, Fla. - The South Carolina men's soccer team wrapped up its regular season with a 4-1 victory over the University of Central Florida Sunday afternoon at the UCF Soccer Complex in Orlando, Fla. Junior Mike Sambursky scored a pair of goals to lead USC past UCF. The Gamecocks complete the regular season at 10-6-1 overall, including a 7-1-1 record and a second-place finish in their inaugural season in Conference USA. UCF ended its season at 7-8-1 overall and 2-6-1 in C-USA.
South Carolina is 10-1-1 in its last 12 matches after starting the season 0-5-0. With two wins this weekend, the Gamecocks became the only conference team to go undefeated on the road during league play.
"Finishing up the season on the road is a difficult challenge because of the wear and tear you go through. I'm proud of the way our team dug in and got two good solid results this weekend," head coach Mark Berson said. "I really want to credit our team for four great performances over last two weekends. We've only lost two games since the first 10 days of the season. Our team is playing very well at the most important time of the year."
After scoring the opening goal in Friday's win over Florida International, senior Josh Alcala struck early again, giving South Carolina the lead just 7:40 into the match. Alcala took advantage of a dropped ball by UCF goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh to score his seventh goal of the season.
Less than 10 minutes later, Sambursky got in on the scoring act. Senior Ryan Deter led Sambursky with a pass and he put away the match's second goal. Carolina took a 2- 0 lead into halftime.
Sambursky tallied his second goal, an unassisted strike, at 55:30. The Katy, Texas, product,drove the ball past McIntosh and into the lower right side of the goal to put Carolina on top, 3-0. Sambursky has scored seven goals for the Gamecocks and shares team-high scoring honors with Alcala. Both players have 22 points.
UCF found the back of the net at the 73:52 mark when Jermaine Walters rebounded Jon Imran's shot that deflected off the post and knocked it into the back of the net.
Senior Eric Szeszycki polished off the win with his fourth goal of the season on a penalty kick at the 89:32 mark. Szeszycki now has four goals on the season and 10 points.
Freshman goalkeeper Mike Gustavson collected seven saves to bring his season total to 71, which ranks second in school history for a freshman goalkeeper. McIntosh saved four shots for UCF.
The Gamecocks also improved to 3-0-0 all-time against UCF and handed the Golden Knights their first home loss in conference play.
"We're looking forward to the conference tournament in Dallas," Berson said. "The players are excited to enter that competition on Wednesday."
South Carolina is the No. 2 seed and will meet No. 7 seed Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Semifinal games are set for Friday, Nov. 11, and the championship will be played Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m.