The Daily Gamecock

Carolina soccer earns accolades

Team takes Conference USA Academic Award

The 36th season of men’s varsity soccer at USC will begin Aug. 30, the Friday night after the football season opener, against East Tennessee State University at Stone Stadium. Strength of schedule for the Conference USA team is no joke, as they play four teams ranked in the top 25 and ten teams who played in last year’s NCAA tournament. Playing at “The Graveyard” is never an easy task for opposing teams, and with nine home games, the Gamecocks are looking to capitalize on home field advantage during the Conference USA opener against Tulsa, on Oct. 6, and New Mexico on Oct. 26. Mark Berson, the only men’s soccer coach in South Carolina history, hopes to coach the team through November, into the NCAA tournament for the 21st time in the team’s history. The preseason is already garnering attention for the Gamecocks however, both in the sports and academic arenas.

Koty Millard, a Columbia native who graduated from Cardinal Newman, is the star of the upcoming four and a half star recruiting class South Carolina has for the 2013 season. Millard is ranked 80th for his recruiting class, and is the only freshman to be a high school All-American, a Scholar-Athlete All-American, and a Youth All-American. He is one of four top-100 recruits the Gamecocks signed, and South Carolina will be relying on this young class in the back field following the graduation of Kevin Stam, Eric Martinez and Mike Mangotic. Kurtis Turner, bringing experience playing for Barnsley FC in England, will be competing for a midfield position during his first year at Carolina. Freshmen will be competitive for every position this year, such as with South Carolina natives Hamilton Carlin and Eli Dent, who are forwards hoping to make a difference as they adjust to playing collegiate soccer. Seniors Jason Chapman and J.P. Rafferty will be leading the young team throughout the season and hoping to get everyone ready for tournament play in November.

Along with the hype for young players to rejuvenate the team, South Carolina has had the academic spotlight in the offseason. With a team GPA of 3.54, the Gamecocks earned the Conference USA Sport Academic Award for the 2012-13 season, as they were the soccer team with the highest GPA in the conference. Braeden Troyer and Kevin Stam also earned spots on the Conference USA All-Academic team, with Troyer taking a spot on the Capital One Academic All-District 4 list. Ryan Arambula, Wesley Eads, Devin L’Amoreaux, Trent Rieflin, and Jeffrey Torda all earned spots on the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll, joined by 92 other student athletes from the University of South Carolina. This marks the sixth year the Gamecocks have had the most student athletes earn this award in the conference.


Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions