The Daily Gamecock

Gamecocks prepare to face balanced Spartan attack

The Gamecocks, after a disappointing loss to Clemson, will try to rebound against UNC Greensboro Tuesday. South Carolina won last year’s matchup 2-1, but Greensboro returns much of their production from last season. Junior German Christopher Reingen returns this season after leading the team with four goals, and sophomore defender Eric Gunnarsson started 19 out of the Spartan's 20 games in 2014. 

The Gamecocks journeyed upstate to face No. 9 Clemson Friday in hopes of clinching a second straight win against their rivals. They walked away not only scoreless, but also with a 3-0 loss, bringing their record to 2-1.

The Tigers dominated the game from the beginning. Its offense controlled the pace, and their defense stifled any Gamecock attacking efforts. While South Carolina’s back line and midfielders did well holding Clemson, there is alway a point that some shots will go in. Though the Tigers had only four shots on goal, they threatened constantly with shots going wide or hitting the post. Junior goalkeeper Marco Velez had a good game even though he let in three goals. He was having to dive left and right for shots and commanded the box on all of Clemson's 11 corner kicks. Of those three goals, two were off of deflections.

The Gamecocks lacked on offense, especially in the first half. The starting forward, senior Kevin Walker, didn’t record a shot in his 70 minutes of play time while freshman Bjorn Gudjonsson came off the bench and had three shots, but just one on target. Providing a spark for the Gamecocks, junior Koty Millard was aggressive once again, logging two shots, one on a goal and a yellow card. 

UNC Greensboro comes into the game with two wins against Longwood and Virginia Tech and a loss to UNC Wilmington. Its offensive production has been spread evenly, with five players scoring the five goals on the season. The Spartan defense has only let in three goals with senior goalkeeper Logan Rohde making 16 saves.

In its previous outing, Greensboro controlled the game against Longwood, defeating the Lancers 3-1. Longwood began the game with a strong free kick that needed to be saved by Rohde, but the Spartans came back down the field and scored their first goal off a pass from forward Jacques Francois to junior defender Nicholas Downs. Longwood tied the game in the 32nd minute from Willy Miezan's goal from inside the box, but the Spartans took their lead back ten minutes later. Greensboro senior Ben Burdonsealed the win in the 58th minute by scoring the third goal.

South Carolina will have their hands full with Greensboro's balanced attack. Based on their first few games, the Spartans like to rely on their many forwards to produce most of their offense. In order to slow down their offense, the South Carolina midfielders will need to keep possession and control the game better than they did against Clemson. The Gamecock forwards can't disappear for the second game in a row if they want to put goals on the scoreboard. 

The game is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Stone Stadium . The weather will be clear with a low chance of rain and moderate temperatures.