The Daily Gamecock

Men's soccer still unbeaten after win over Mercer

	<p>Senior defender Mahamoudou Kaba scored the opening goal in South Carolina’s win over Mercer en route to a 2-0 victory that keeps the Gamecocks unbeaten.</p>

Senior defender Mahamoudou Kaba scored the opening goal in South Carolina’s win over Mercer en route to a 2-0 victory that keeps the Gamecocks unbeaten.

Gamecocks endure rainy conditions to claim victory

It’s been 10 years since the South Carolina men’s soccer team started a season 3-0-0, but after a victory over the Mercer Bears Sunday, the Gamecocks were able to remain unbeaten on the season.

After winning back-to-back double-overtime thrillers against Belmont and Clemson, the Gamecocks were able to put away Mercer in regulation with a final score of 2-0.

The Gamecocks held advantages in numerous statistical categories including a 17-8 shot difference, a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal, and an 8-2 advantage on corner kicks.

Heavy rains delayed the game for 15 minutes and soaked the pitch prior to the start of the match.

Head coach Mark Berson said he was impressed with the condition of the field in spite of the torrential downpour that took place before the game on Sunday.

“Our event management and our grounds guys are unbelievable to get this field in the condition,” he said. “It was perfect almost by kickoff. I thought they did great.”

Despite the weather, the Gamecocks were able to come out and play well on the defensive side. In fact, the defense created the Gamecocks first scoring opportunity.

Senior defender Mahamoudou “Mo” Kaba fought for a ball in Mercer’s half of the field and was awarded a penalty kick after getting tangled up with the Bears’ goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh in Mercer’s penalty area. Kaba was able to put the penalty kick in the back of the net to give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead. The goal was the sixth of Kaba’s career, but it was his first on the season. It was also Kaba’s first career penalty kick in his time at South Carolina.

In the second half, the Gamecocks were able to continue to create scoring opportunities against. In the 67th minute, senior midfielder Ryan Freiburger won a ball in Mercer’s half of the field and passed it over to sophomore Kurtis Turner, who booted a powerful shot from 30 yards that managed to get behind Ranjitsingh and gave South Carolina a comfortable 2-0 lead.

Turner led the team with three shots on goal, matching Mercer’s team total. The goal was Turner’s second of the season. Freiburger’s assist was the first of his career helper as a Gamecock.

Goalkeeper Marco Velez was able to tally his second clean sheet of the season with help from the Gamecock back line.

Despite the victory, Berson pointed out ways the Gamecocks can continue to improve as the season progresses.

“We did some good things tonight, defensively in particular. It was a little bit of a sloppy night, they’re a very direct team so you have to make sure you cover your bases defensively and I thought that we did that pretty well,” Berson said, “In the attack I thought we were a little bit sloppy and we need to get sharper. Having said that, we got a shutout, we had two goals, and a number of good opportunities.”


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