Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 33rd year of varsity soccer.
- Head coach Mark Berson is the only head men's soccer coach in school history. He enters weekend action with a 422-170-57 all-time record at the school and a 433-175-57 career record (spent one season at The Citadel prior to appointment at South Carolina).
- Entering the 2010 campaign, Berson ranked second among active coaches in victories (428) and eighth among the winningest coaches all-time in Division I history.
- Berson is assisted by Bert Molinary, in his seventh season at South Carolina, and Mike Babst, in his fourth.
- South Carolina finished fourth in Conference USA this season, two spots better than its sixth-place finish in the league in 2009.
- Five Gamecocks garnered All-Conference USA awards: Blake Brettschneider (Co-MVP, Co-Offensive Player of the Year, First Team), Bradlee Baladez (Third Team, All-Freshman Team), Jimmy Maurer (Second Team), Chipper Root (All-Freshman Team) and Will Traynor (First Team).
- South Carolina was the 2005 Conference USA Tournament champion, collecting the title in its first season competing in the league.
- The Gamecocks are ranked fourth in the NSCAA South Region poll (Nov. 9) entering Wednesday's contest.
- Carolina earned a 3-2 win over UAB in the regular-season meeting between the two schools, twice overcoming a one-goal deficit to earn the win at Stone Stadium in Columbia.
- Senior forward Blake Brettschneider, senior defender Will Traynor and freshman midfielder have each contributed five goals - a team lead - this season.
- Gamecock goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer has seven shutouts on the season, the most since he collected nine shutouts during his sophomore campaign in 2008. Maurer's seven shutouts are tied for the lead in C-USA.
C-USA Awards Announced
Five Gamecocks garnered All-Conference USA honors on Tuesday, highlighted by senior forward Blake Brettschnider being selected as the Co-MVP and Co-Offensive Player of the Year. Brettschneider was also selected to the first team all-conference squad, where classmate Will Traynor, who was named one of the top defenders in the league, joined him. Senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was selected to the second team, freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez was selected to the third team and the All-Freshman squad, and freshman midfielder Chipper Root also earned a spot on the All-Freshman team. The five selections for the Gamecocks are the most since the 2008 campaign, while the MVP and Offensive MVP awards collected by Brettschneider are the first in South Carolina's six years competing in the league.
Nov. 9 NCAA RPI
South Carolina is ranked No. 19 in this week's NCAA RPI. The Gamecocks have been ranked in the top 20 for every RPI report this season, topping out at No. 15. UAB, Carolina's opponent on Wednesday is ranked No. 46.
Trio Named To Academic All-District Squad
South Carolina senior forward Blake Brettschneider, senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and senior defender Will Traynor have all been named to the CoSIDA ESPN Academic All-District III First Team. All three student-athletes are now eligible to advance to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration.
South Carolina earned three quality road victories this season, as the Gamecocks collected 1-0 win's at both Charlotte and Wake Forest, while also earning a 1-0 win over then-No. 5 Tulsa in C-USA action. The Gamecocks also earned a 1-0 win over Yale competing at the Brown Soccer Classic in mid-September.
Conference USA Players Of The Week
Freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez twice earned Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week honors. He earned the Co-Offensive honor on Oct. 4 after scoring the game winner in both of South Carolina's matches, a 1-0 win at Wake Forest, and a 3-2, come-from-behind win over UAB in the Conference USA opener for Carolina. He picked up his second honor on Oct. 18 after scoring the game winner in South Carolina's 1-0 win over NC State, while also earning a tally in the Gamecocks' 1-1 tie versus UCF.
Senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer earned the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week award three times this season, which marked the ninth weekly honor of his career, the most for a single player in C-USA history. He earned Co-Defensive honors on Sept. 7 after earning a shutout in a 2-0 win over Clemson in the season opener. He added his second honor of the season after a 1-0 road win at Charlotte, and his third after a 1-0 win over NC State and a 1-1 tie vs. UCF in C-USA action.
Wiltse Earns First Career Game Winner
South Carolina redshirt-senior midfielder Mark Wiltse earned the first game-winning goal of his career, earning the tally in the Gamecocks' 3-0 win over Memphis on Senior Day on Oct. 31. Wiltse, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the season opener vs. Charlotte in 2009, has three goals during his college career.
Traynor - Offensive Threat, Defensive Standout
Despite being a senior, defender Will Traynor has had a breakout campaign for the Gamecocks. The St. Charles. Mo., native has tallied five goals this season - he entered the 2010 campaign with four career goals - while also adding one assist. He also collected his first-career game winner in Carolina's 1-0 road win at then-No. 5 Tulsa in early October.
Brettschneider Shines For Gamecocks In 2010
South Carolina senior forward Blake Brettschneider has enjoyed his best season in the Garnet and Black thus far in 2010. Brettschneider leads Carolina with 18 points on five goals and eight assists, while he has also scored two game-winning goals this season. Brettschneider tallied at least one point in each Conference USA game he participated, posting three goals and six assists in league play. Brettschneider enters tournament action with 17 career goals and 15 assists.
Maurer Etches Name In South Carolina Record Book
With his seven shutouts this season, South Carolina senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer has amassed 26 career shutouts, which places him second all-time in Carolina history in the category. His seven shutouts this season are tied for first in C-USA. Maurer collected five shutouts as a freshman, a career-best nine as a sophomore and five last season.
Baladez Emerges As Offensive Threat For Gamecocks
Freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez is tied for the team lead with five goals this season, while he paces the squad with four game winning marks. His first game winner came in a 1-0 victory over Yale, followed by a tally in a 1-0 win over Wake Forest. His third game winner came in Carolina's 3-2 win over UAB in C-USA action. Baladez enters tournament play with 44 shots, including 16 on goal.
Scoring Frenzy Leads Gamecocks Past UAB In C-USA Opener
South Carolina scored three goals in the final 22 minutes of play vs. UAB to collect a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Blazers. Senior forward Blake Brettschneider, senior defender Will Traynor and freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez each tallied a goal for Carolina, with Baladez collecting the game winner. The Gamecocks held a 16-10 advantage in shots in the match. Carolina goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer collected four saves in net in the win.
Root Marks Point Column
Freshman midfielder Chipper Root has taken at least one shot in 14 of 17 contests this season, but it took him 15 matches to mark the point total. Root collected his first assist of the season on Stephen Morrissey's game winner vs. FIU, while he tallied his first-career goal in Carolina's 3-0 victory vs. Memphis. Earlier this season, Root was named one of CollegeSoccerNews.com's 100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On for 2010.