After Winthrop scored their first goal in the first minute of the men’s soccer game on Sunday afternoon, the Gamecocks pushed back even harder, leading to a 4-2 victory over the Eagles.
South Carolina head coach Mark Berson started six freshmen and five sophomores in the game.
“Only freshmen and sophomores in the lineup, sometimes that inexperience shows," Berson said postgame. "We’ve got to get off to a better start. This is the second game in a row where we really didn’t get off to a great start, but I give our guys credit. They dug in and they never hung their heads.”
The cold and rainy weather didn’t keep the Gamecocks down long after Winthrop’s Jonathan Foster scored to put the Eagles ahead 1-0 in the first minute. South Carolina sophomore midfielder Logan Hitzeman came back for the Gamecocks with a goal in the 16th minute to tie the score.
During the second half of the game, junior forward Andrew Halloran was subbed in for the Gamecocks and scored his first goal in the 69th minute. Later, Halloran went on to score two more back-to-back goals, earning him a hat trick.
“Really happy for Andrew, he certainly came in and made a difference in the game… to really get off the mark and get three goals, what a great accomplishment today,” Berson said.
The Gamecocks saw several minor injuries, but most noteworthy was freshman defender Sekou Soumah who was subbed off the field multiple times.
In the 86th minute, Winthrop’s Grayson Woodard scored the last goal of the game, advancing the score to 4-2.
Berson was personally appreciative of the fans’ support for a game in less palatable weather conditions.
“To have Gamecock fans in the stands in the pouring rain, 40 degrees, just amazing support by the Gamecock Nation,” Berson said.
South Carolina improved to 4-2 on the season with the win. The team faces USC Upstate on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium.