COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina (4-5-3, 1-1-1 C-USA) has the opportunity to collect important Conference-USA points at home on Wednesday evening. The Gamecocks face Florida Atlantic (6-1-2, 1-1-1 C-USA) at Stone Stadium at 7 p.m. Currently, the teams are tied in the league standings with four points apiece.
South Carolina is in its 36th season of varsity soccer in 2013.
South Carolina head coach Mark Berson is in his 37th season overall and his 36th season as head coach of the Gamecocks. He is assisted by former players Spencer Lewis and Joey Worthen, both in their second season. Tim O'Toole is the volunteer assistant coach.
The Gamecocks will play 11 regular-season contests at Stone Stadium this season, including the annual Gamecock Classic and four Conference USA matches.
In a road match against Kentucky on Sunday, Oct. 13, South Carolina collected one point in the C-USA race. The Gamecocks and Wildcats tied 0-0 after 110 minutes of action.
Junior defender Mahamoudou Kaba scored three goals in a one-week stretch. The defender is a force to be reckoned with on set pieces, scoring on two against Presbyterian in the mid-week non-conference finale and netting one against No. 23 Tulsa on Sunday. Sophomore midfielder Ryan Arambula assisted on two of the goals.
The Gamecocks surrendered a 1-0 lead to No. 23 Tulsa on Sunday, Oct. 6. The Golden Hurricane scored the game-winner with three seconds on the clock in the first overtime period of the match.
South Carolina's first road win of the season could not have come at a better time. The Gamecocks scored two unanswered goals to defeat (RV) Charlotte 2-1 on Friday, Sept. 27. Junior defenders Mahamoudou Kaba and Braeden Troyer provided the offense. Troyer's unassisted gamewinner came off a rebound from a corner kick in the 81st minute. Prior to the Gamecocks' two tallies, the 49ers had allowed just four goals over the course of their first seven matches of the season. Freshman keeper Marco Velez earned his first career win in the Garnet and Black.
In the 27th edition of the Gamecock Classic on Sept. 20 and 22, South Carolina played 220 minutes of soccer and finished the weekend 0-0-2. Sophomore midfielder Jeffrey Torda scored his second goal of the season in the fifth minute against USF, but the Bulls tied the match and played out to a 1-1 tie on Friday, Sept. 20. Less than 48 hours later, the Gamecocks faced Dartmouth and again went the distance, this time playing to a 0-0 draw. South Carolina outshot their opponents 36-20 over the course of the weekend.
To end their three-game road stretch, the Gamecocks dropped a Sunday afternoon contest 0-3 at Rutgers on Sept. 15.
South Carolina faced No. 12 St. John's on Friday, Sept. 13, without Conference-USA preseason honoree Troyer (suspension for red card vs. Coastal Carolina) and starting keeper Robert Beebe (injury). The teams played 60 scoreless minutes before the Red Storm recorded a tally for the 1-0 win. The Gamecocks who faced a 7-2 shot deficit at the half, ultimately outshot St. John's 12-11. Velez notched his first career start in Beebe's place between the posts.
Freshman Ive Burnett scored his first career goal for the Garnet and Black in the fourth minute against Coastal Carolina on Tues., Sept 10. The Gamecocks couldn't hold on to the early 1-0 lead and dropped the road match 1-3.
Senior J.P. Rafferty recorded the first multi-goal game of his career on Friday, Sept. 6, in a 5-2 win over High Point. Rafferty's two second-half goals came within 15 minutes of each other. Freshman Kurtis Turner scored the first points of his Gamecock career against High Point, assisting on three goals in the non-conference win.
The five South Carolina goals against High Point are the most scored by the Gamecocks since a 5-2 road win at East Carolina on Oct. 5, 2005.
South Carolina came from behind, but ultimately fell to Clemson 2-1 in double overtime on Sept. 2. Kaba scored the first goal of his career on a header off a Ryan Arambula corner kick to level the match in the second half. Clemson tallied the golden goal in the 102nd minute for the win.
The Gamecocks improved to 30-5-1 in season openers with a 1-0 shutout victory over East Tennessee State on Aug. 30. Torda netted the unassisted gamewinner in the 26th minute. South Carolina posted two shutouts in exhibition play this season, a 1-0 win over Mercer and a 2-0 win over Elon.
The Garnet and Black posted 31 shots in the pair of matches, with a decided 23-6 advantage over Mercer. The Gamecocks preferred quality over quantity against Elon, putting seven of their eight shots on frame.
Nine newcomers (seven freshmen and two transfers) join 15 letterwinners and four starters from the 2012 squad.
Junior Braden Troyer was selected to the Preseason All-Conference USA squad in August. Last season, the Columbia, S.C., native earned second-team all-conference honors, was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 4 Team and earned a spot on the C-USA All-Academic Team.
Last season, the Gamecocks finished 5-11-2 (2-5-1 C-USA), a year removed from earning a share of the 2011 Conference USA Regular Season championship after a 6-1-1 conference campaign.
Florida Atlantic has posted a 6-1-2 overall record this season, starting C-USA play 1-1-1. The last three games on the schedule featured a road match at No. 15 UAB, followed by a pair of home matches against Marshall and Howard. Against a ranked UAB, FAU suffered its first loss of the season, a 2-6 result. The following match, the Owls picked up a point in the conference race with a 0-0 draw with Marshall. FAU stepped out of league play for their last match, a 2-0 win over Howard.
Junior forward Ryan Price leads the Owls offensively with 14 points on six goals and two assists. Junior midfielder Deniz Bozkurt has also made an impact offensively, scoring nine points on three goals and three assists. Between the posts, freshman Theo Jamilloux has played every minute of the season, posting three shutouts, 41 saves and a 1.34 goals against average.
Former FAU student-athlete Kos Donev is in his 27th season as head coach of the Owls. Earlier this season, he won his 200th career match.
The Gamecocks and Owls are meeting for the first time on the pitch. FAU is in its first season with C-USA after a seven-year stint in the Sun Belt.
Up Next for the Gamecocks
South Carolina continues Conference USA play at Marshall on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. The Gamecocks return to Stone Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., to face New Mexico.