The Gamecocks men's soccer team failed to capitalize on opportunities against No. 2 Wake Forest on Tuesday night, ultimately resulting in a loss.
Statistically, the Gamecocks dominated the game with more shots on goal, nine in total, and set plays. Even with less shots on goal, the Demon Deacons were able to capitalize on their opportunities, scoring twice in the game to win 2-0.
“Tonight in virtually every statistic we were ahead," head coach Mark Berson said. "We had more shots, we had more corners, but they got the two that mattered."
The Demon Deacons took the lead in the 36th minute of the first half with a low driven shot into the bottom right corner of the net.
Despite falling short in the first half, South Carolina brought high intensity into the second half and continued to pressure Wake Forest.
Even with the challenges that South Carolina has faced previously this season with tough losses, recently coming off a 2-1 loss against New Mexico, Berson said he's still okay with his team's attitude and resilience in competitive match-ups.
The uptempo speed that the Gamecocks showed just wasn't enough. Berson said he realizes his team's ability, but he wants them to improve on putting chances away offensively.
He also praised South Carolina's defense for being able to find its strength in pressing high defensive lines from units like Wake Forest.
"That's a characteristic of our team," Berson said. "We try to do that. And there's certain triggers, there's certain times 'cause you can't chase all over the field the whole game because ... you won't have the energy to do it. Tonight they recognized a few of those cues and did really well with it."
The Gamecocks were not able to capitalize on the Demon Deacons mistakes to gain momentum to claim a victory.
“A lot of times what happens is the two teams play each other to a stalemate and then somebody makes a play ... whether it's the NFL, whether it's the NBA or whether it's college soccer," Berson said. "Tonight you had two good teams going toe to toe and they finished their chances on the night and we didn't.”
With 12 minutes left in the second half, Wake Forest scored another goal to clinch the 2-0.
South Carolina looks to break its three game losing streak with a match-up against USC Upstate on Saturday night starting at 7 p.m.