The 25th-ranked South Carolina men's soccer team looks to claim the Conference USA Regular Season Title against Kentucky in the regular-season finale for both schools on Friday at Stone Stadium. Game time is set for 6 p.m. for the matchup. The contest will serve as Senior Day for Carolina's veteran class of Danny Cates, Vance Benson, Andre Bahri, Daniel Lynch, Ross Power and Stephen Morrissey.
GAME INFORMATION Date: Friday, November 4, 2011 Kick Off: 6 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Stadium: Stone Stadium Series: Series is tied at 4-4-1 Live Stats: GamecocksOnline.com Free Live Video: GamecocksOnline.com Game Updates: South Carolina men's soccer Facebook and Twitter (@GamecockMSoccer)
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina can clinch the 2011 Conference USA regular-season title on Friday versus Kentucky. Carolina leads the league with 18 points entering Friday's contest, with UAB in second with 16 points. A win (three points) would give Carolina the outright title regardless of the outcome of UAB's match, while a tie (one point) secures at least a share of the title for South Carolina, as a tie and a UAB win would mean the two teams would be Co-Regular Season champs. The Gamecocks own the tiebreaker over UAB after defeating the Blazers, 1-0, during the regular season, which would secure the No. 1 seed in the tournament for the Gamecocks.
- South Carolina has won eight of its last 10 matches entering Friday's matchup versus Kentucky.
- The Gamecocks gave Mark Berson the 450th victory of his career with a thrilling 1-0 double overtime win on the road at No. 22 UCF on Tuesday. Junior defender Eric Martinez netted the game winner on an assist from sophomore forward Bradlee Baladez.
- South Carolina will conclude the 2011 season with a 4-0 record in away contests in C-USA play.
- The Gamecocks are led offensively by Baladez with seven goals and four assists for 18 points on the year. Freshman midfielder Braeden Troyer has contributed five goals, while senior midfielder Stephen Morrissey has added four. Sophomore J.P. Rafferty, junior Kevin Stam and freshman forward Snoopy Davidson have all tallied two goals this season.
- Redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper earned his third shutout of the season at UCF earlier this week. Long played a stellar match in net, collecting a season high six saves.
South Carolina In Conference Play
South Carolina has been a member of just two conferences for a total of nine seasons, including the 2011 campaign, in its 34-year history. The Gamecocks were a member of the Metro Conference during the 1993 and 1994 seasons, and have been an affiliate member of C-USA since 2005. In those nine seasons Carolina earned the 1993 Metro Conference Regular Season title, the 2005 and 2010 C-USA Tournament titles and the Gamecocks aim for the C-USA Regular Season crown with a win on Friday versus Kentucky.
Baladez In Conference USA Play
Sophomore forward Bradlee Baladez has scored a goal in six of South Carolina's seven C-USA games this season. The Dallas, Texas, native tallied the game winners versus Tulsa and UAB. He has collected a point in each C-USA contest, however, as he earned the assist on Martinez's game winner at UCF on Nov. 1.
Kentucky Series History
The all-time series between Kentucky and South Carolina is tied at 4-4-1, however UK has won three consecutive contests against Carolina, including a 2-1 win last season in Lexington. South Carolina's last win over UK was a 2-1 OT win at Stone Stadium during the 2007 season. South Carolina is 3-1-0 in games played at Stone Stadium against Kentucky.
Last Year vs. The Wildcats
South Carolina suffered a 2-1 loss on the road at Kentucky in last year's regular-season finale for both schools. Then-senior Blake Brettschneider tallied Carolina's goal in the match. Then-freshman forward Brendan Murphy tallied the game winner for the Wildcats.
Scouting The Wildcats
The Wildcats have tallied 33 goals in 19 games, with 1.74 goals scored per game and 15 shots taken a contest in 2011. UK is led offensively by sophomore Tyler Riggs, who has 10 goals and five assists in 17 games played. Matt Lodge owns seven goals and 10 assists in 17 of UK's 19 games, with two game-winning tallies. Charles Pettys has three goals and seven assists, while Josh Mulvany has four goals and four assists. In goal, Tyler Beadle has saved 50 shots in 17 games with 27 goals allowed and a 1.57 goals against average. This will be UK's third game of the 2011 season at Stone Stadium, as UK won the 2011 Gamecock Classic on Sept. 18 with its 5-1 win over Brown, also posting a 2-1 golden goal win over High Point. In two games at Stone Stadium in 2011, UK has outscored its opponents 7-2.
Up Next For South Carolina
- South Carolina travels to the C-USA Tournament next week, which will be hosted by Tulsa. Final seeding for the event will be released by the C-USA office on Sunday.