COLUMBIA, S.C. -
The South Carolina men's soccer team begins a three game homestand when it hosts FIU on Saturday at 7 p.m., in the first Conference USA home contest of the season for Carolina. Below are game notes and details for the match.
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 35th season of varsity soccer in 2012.
- South Carolina head coach Mark Berson is in his 36th season overall and his 35th season as head coach of the Gamecocks. He is assisted by former players Spencer Lewis and Joey Worthen, both in their first season. Another former player for the Gamecocks, Clark Brisson, is the volunteer assistant coach.
- Following two consecutive Conference USA road contests, South Carolina returns to the friendly confines of Stone Stadium for three straight matches over the next two weeks, beginning with Saturday's contest vs. FIU.
- The Gamecocks hold an 11-0-2 upperhand in the all-time series with FIU. South Carolina has won two-straight in the series between the two schools, including a 4-3 victory last season in Miami.
- Sophomore midfielder Asa Kryst tallied the first goal of his career in last week's contest vs. SMU. Kryst has nine shots this season.
- Freshman midfielder Jeffrey Torda collected the first assist of his career on Kryst's tally at SMU. Torda has seen action in all nine contests thus far in 2012.
- Junior defender Eric Martinez was the hero in Carolina's 1-0 victory vs. intrastate rival Clemson on Sept. 18. Martinez scored in the 65th minute on a header to secure the Gamecock victory.
- Freshman midfielder Ryan Arambula collected the first assist of his career on Martinez's game winner vs. Clemson on a corner kick opportunity. Arambula has seen action in seven contests this season.
- Junior goalkeeper Alex Long collected his fourth shutout of the season vs. Clemson on Sept. 18. He collected three saves in the victory.
- Junior striker Bradlee Baladez scored both Carolina goals vs. Charlotte On Sept. 12, marking the first two goals of the season for the Dallas, Texas, native. Baladez was a Preseason All-Conference USA selection earlier this fall. He leads the Gamecocks with 20 shots on the year.
- Junior goalkeeper Alex Long collected a career high seven saves vs. Charlotte.
- Sophomore midfielder Niklas Kivinen scored the first goal of his career in the impressive 1-0 victory at No. 2 USF on Sept. 6. The Mikkeli, Finland, native posted the score on a free kick opportunity in the first half.
- South Carolina is the reigning Conference USA Co-Regular Season champions, as both the Gamecocks and UAB finished the 2011 league campaign with a 6-1-1 record.
FIU's contest at South Carolina marks the first since a 2-1 overtime victory at intrastate rival Stetson on Sept. 22. The Panthers hold a 6-1-1 record on the year, with their only loss coming against Furman on Sept. 14. Saturday's match marks the first Conference USA contest of the year for FIU. Through eight games in 2012, FIU has already eclipsed its win total from the 2011 season. The squad is led by first-year head coach Kenny Arena, son of legendary U.S. Soccer head coach Bruce Arena. FIU enters the contest ranked sixth in the most recent NCAA statistics in assists, as the Panthers have 22 helpers on the year. Freshman Lyle Lindquist leads the squad with four and is ranked tied for 18th nationally in the category. Sophomore forward Quentin Albrecht leads the team and ranks tied for second in the league with six goals on the year. His 37 shots are also a team best.
Alumni Weekend For Georgia Football Game And UCF Soccer Match
South Carolina men's soccer will hold its annual Alumni Weekend, Oct. 5-7, in Columbia. Festivities will surround the Gamecock football game vs. Georgia on Saturday, before a men's and women's soccer doubleheader on Sunday, with the women hosting Georgia at 1 p.m., before the men's contest vs. UCF at 3:30 p.m. at Stone Stadium.
35th Season Notable
Former South Carolina great Clint Mathis showed signs of brilliance in a thrilling 7-5 victory over No. 2 North Carolina on Oct. 14, 1994, at Stone Stadium in front of an overflow crowd and driving rains. The freshman midfielder scored two goals in that match, marking the first two goals of his celebrated career where he would go on to score 53 goals and 15 assists. The victory propelled the Gamecocks to the MetLife Classic tournament title. The listed attendance for that contest was 2,994.
Up Next For The Gamecocks
South Carolina continues its homestand when it hosts UCF on Oct. 7. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. ET, at Stone Stadium for the match.