Sara Yang

Gamecock soccer racks up weekly conference honors

South Carolina men's soccer players Luca Mayr and William Pyle swept Conference USA's weekly honors, while women's soccer midfielder Lauren Chang was named the SEC Freshman of the Week.

These are the first player of the week awards for both Mayr and Chang.

Mayr scored the lone goal in the 50th minute and Pyle recorded his 11th career shutout in a 1-0 win over No. 13 Furman on Tuesday. In the game against conference rival New Mexico, Mayr recorded an assist on the first goal and Pyle totaled a season-high seven saves in what ended in a 2-2 draw. Mayr currently leads the Gamecocks with 10 points, which puts him at fourth best in the conference. Pyle has a .727 save percentage and two shutouts this season.

“He’s got a great attitude, he works hard, he listens, he really is doing a great job," head coach Mark Berson said of Mayr. “As he develops and keeps improving as a player, I think you’re going to see even better and better things from him. He’s ahead this year of where he was last year and I think that growth is just going to continue to grow.”

According to Mayr, part of this growth comes from his teammates: “Everyone on the team is a leader and makes it easier for everyone to step up and be a leader and play well. And so if we don’t play we don’t get upset we just work hard.”

Chang, who is a member of the large freshman class on the women's team, scored in the 95th minute in a 1-0 victory over conference rival No. 21 Tennessee.

“It’s so fun, I mean I’m living out my dream, I’m getting to play the game that I love every day and I’m just happy that I get to play with such a fantastic group of players and girls.” Chang said on her early success.

This is Pyle's last season as a Gamecock, but the senior has a lot to show for it. Last year, he made third team All-Conference and has a career save percentage of .793. As for Mayr, he has shown to be a huge contributor this season. As a newcomer in 2016, he was selected to the Conference USA All-Freshman team.

On the women's side, Chang is looking to prove to be a vital piece to the team — not only for this season, but for the rest of her career. Her contributions to the team have helped the Gamecocks earn their No. 1 ranking in the latest NCAA RPI rankings and No. 3 overall in the nation.

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