The Gamecocks ended their three-game losing streak last night as they defeated UNC Greensboro by a score of 2-1.
After a very uneventful 20 minutes of play, UNC Greensboro struck first with its first first-half goal of the season scored by senior midfielder Austin Miller, as he made a move past sophomore keeper Marco Velez in the 21st minute of the match.
The Gamecocks were dominant in the first half as they outshot Greensboro 8-5, but could not put one behind the keeper, and saw its best chances sail wide left. The team had another great opportunity as sophomore midfielder Koty Millard had an excellent cross in front of the net, but South Carolina couldn’t get a touch on it.
South Carolina showed aggressive play early on as they kept attacking after loose balls, resulting in five first-half penalties and even a yellow card given to sophomore midfielder Kurtis Turner, but the team still faced a one-goal deficit heading into the second half of play.
During the 51st minute, the Gamecocks looked like they had a good opportunity to score, but Millard sailed a shot high over the goal post. Junior midfielder Jeffrey Torda had a chance to score in the 54th minute, but had his shot saved from Greensboro keeper William Pyle.
Forward Eli Dent looked to have a goal in the 56th minute as his first shot was saved by Pyle, but as he got back the rebound he soared it high over the post. Dent had another look a few minutes later, but shot it wide right.
Sophomore defender Ive Burnett finally provided the spark the Gamecocks needed in the 68th minute of play.
“I think it’s really big that we came roaring back and came back. I think it’s really big that we showed the resiliency to come back, and I was really proud of that,” head coach Mark Berson said.
Right after the team's first goal, it looked as if sophomore forward Hamilton Carlin netted a goal, but his shot hit off the post, giving the Gamecocks a corner kick, on which they couldn’t capitalize.
South Carolina finally took the lead in the 75th minute when junior midfielder Ryan Arambula scored on a header after Pyle made the initial save.
After the game, Berson was pleased his team came away with a victory, but also touched on the areas they needed to work on.
“It was a sloppy, sloppy goal, inattentive on our part, and we need to be better than that. That goes into the category of stuff we need to work on," Berson said. "I felt like up until that point, we had a lot of the ball and created some pretty good chances, and at halftime we stepped up the speed, and stepped up the intensity. Again, I salute the guys for coming from behind, and that’s a good thing. We’re going to be in a lot of tight games during the rest of the season, and we’re going to need that quality.”
With the win last night, the Gamecocks got a much needed win right before conference play begins this Friday against Marshall.
“I’m really proud of what they accomplished tonight, and I think it is a little bit of a springboard," Berson said. "You feel better coming out and getting a win going into your first conference game. The conference games are a different animal. They’re very intense, and it’s going to be a tough match against Marshall on Friday night.”