Coming off a road trip in which they did not win a single game, the South Carolina men’s soccer team came home and collect a much-needed win, 4-2, against Presbyterian College (2-8-0).
After blowing a two-goal lead early in the second half, the Gamecocks did not give up. As a result, they came out victorious and are still undefeated at home this season.
“I was very pleased with the response. I mean, to answer with two goals is big, you know?" head coach Mark Berson said. "And I think it comes from the leadership within the group, the fighting power within the group. They didn’t hang their heads."
The Gamecocks (5-4-0) failed to score in their last two games. That changed early in Tuesday night's game when forward Brian Banahan collected his second goal of the season in the 11th minute. Tucker Monheimer was credited with the assist on the play, which was the first of his collegiate career.
In the 37th minute, CJ Mitchell-Smith put South Carolina ahead by two scores. For the junior from Brampton, Ontario, this was his first goal of 2019. The score came with an assist from Luca Mayr.
The Blue Hose could not seem to create any momentum by the end of the first half. However, during the opening minutes of the second half, they picked things up in a big way: After being held scoreless for a majority of the game, Presbyterian scored two back-to-back goals.
In the 49th minute, Luca Ziegler scored his second goal this year, which came from a free kick. Three minutes later, Presbyterian scored again, courtesy of a goal from Harry Abell.
After giving up a two-goal lead, the Gamecocks' Mitchell-Smith scored for the second time, this time in the 62nd minute.
“It’s great. I mean, I haven’t had a hat trick yet in my NCAA career, so one was good, but two was even better," Mitchell-Smith said.
In the closing minutes of the contest, Banahan scored his second goal of the night on a wide-open shot. The Gamecocks maintained their score to win 4-2 over Presbyterian.
With tonight’s victory against the Blue Hose, South Carolina ended its two-game losing streak and will now turn its attention to host Old Dominion (1-6-1), who is on a three-game losing streak.
Looking forward to Saturday's game against Old Dominion, Berson said, “That’s going to be a tough conference game. It could be back and forth, and you got to have that ability to know you're going to comeback when the chips are down.”
Kickoff is set for Saturday at Stone Stadium at 7 p.m.