South Carolina men’s soccer ended a two-game losing streak, beating Mercer 1-0 on Friday night.The game was moved up from Saturday, due to the threat of Hurricane Delta. This was the Gamecocks' first regular-season game in Georgia in 33 years.
The win also moves coach Mark Berson to third all-time in NCAA men's soccer history, with 516 career wins.
Redshirt senior goalie Nick Brady found success in his second start of the season, saving all five shots that came his way. This was the second clean sheet of his Gamecock career.
South Carolina didn’t have many shots on goal in the first half but was up 3-1 in shots taken at the break. Halftime was the first sight of Hurricane Delta in Macon too, as it started lightly raining at the break.
The Mercer Bears had all the momentum, until Brian Banahan shot on goal in the 56th minute. Banahan broke away, and had only the goalie to beat, but hit the shot off the far left post. He would have a similar chance three minutes later, squeezing past two defenders, but the ball rolled right to the goalie.
In the 75th minute, freshman Christian Kraus was found open in front of the net, rolling it in for the only goal of the match and his first of his Gamecock career.
The Gamecocks dominated the final fifteen minutes, owning much of the possession. Peter Clement missed a shot right in front of the goalkeeper during the 88th minute, and Brian Banahan was handed a yellow card in the 82nd.
Friday night's win put South Carolina at 2-2 for the season and set up the Gamecocks for a chance to finish with their first winning fall record since 2016. South Carolina's next and final game is against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and since 2001 the Gamecocks are 12-6-1 against the Blazers.
South Carolina will play the Blazers at Stone Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. to wrap up the 2020 season.