It was a tough night on both sides of the ball for the Gamecocks and they lost to the Jacksonville Dolphins at home 3-2. For the first 80 minutes of the matchup, the team was unable to score.
“We didn’t play well — plain and simple," head coach Mark Berson said. "We should have probably gotten out of that half at 1 to 1. We didn't. I just don’t think we played well enough tonight to win, and that’s the long and short of it.”
Jacksonville (5-5-2) forward Kai Bennett scored in the 19th minute of play. For Bennett, this was the first goal of his senior season.
In the last moments of the first half, each team’s starting goalie made huge stops when it mattered the most. For the Gamecocks (6-7-2), Nick Brady made a leaping save to keep his team in the game.
As for the Dolphins, goalie Matt Levy blocked a shot from Logan Frost, as it was a one-on-one scoring opportunity. This key play kept South Carolina off of the scoreboard.
“We put Nick [Brady] in some tough spots, and I thought he did a good job, overall,” Berson said.
At the end of the first half, the Gamecocks put up three shots, but were unable to score against Levy. While they were only down by one point, this was a must-win game for the team, as their tournament-bound aspirations were on the line.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Jacksonville’s Connar Lufkin scored with an assist from Bennett. This was Lufkin’s third score of the regular season.
While South Carolina could not seem to find success, Jacksonville remained hot throughout the evening.
In the 67th minute, Inti Antunez was able to put the ball through the back of the net and put his team ahead by three scores. This was Antunez’s third goal of the year. Lufkin was credited with the assist.
After almost 80 minutes of play, forward Brian Banahan put the Gamecocks on the scoreboard for the first time that night. This was his fifth goal of the season. Frost made the assist on the score, which was his first of the year.
South Carolina senior Tucker Monheimer scored with one second remaining in the contest. This was the Louisville, Kentuckian's fifth goal of 2019.
The loss leaves South Carolina towards the bottom of the Conference USA standings.
Friday, the team will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to play the Kentucky Wildcats (8-2-3). Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.