The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: Goal-happy Gamecocks extinguish Blazers in C-USA rout

The South Carolina men’s soccer team had no problem scoring on Saturday afternoon as freshman defender Christian Kraus and four other Gamecocks scored in a 6-0 rout of UAB at Stone Stadium. It was South Carolina’s first C-USA win of the season.

Kraus led the way in scoring with two goals coming in the fourth minute and 56th minute. Kraus was joined by a pair of fellow freshmen in scoring, with midfielder Spencer Mallion and forward Peter Clement notching goals in the 28th and 41st minute, respectively.

Veteran forwards sophomore Brian Banahan and junior Andrew Halloran also scored late in the match, with goals in the 82nd and 87th minute.

“Really pleased with the performance, obviously, to get out to a 3-nothing lead in the first half was fantastic,” head coach Mark Berson said. “Also happy for the team to get a shutout, you know. From both ends of the field, very good solid performance today.”

The Gamecocks created a ton of scoring opportunities throughout the match, as they put up 19 shots and had 14 corner kicks. This comes against a UAB defense that shut out No. 18 Kentucky just last weekend.

The South Carolina defense held the Blazers to zero goals thanks to exceptional goaltending from Ryan Bilichuk. The redshirt sophomore goalkeeper had six saves against a UAB offense that put up 15 shots.

Of the Blazers’ 15 shots, 10 came in the first half, during a period where UAB was very much in striking distance of getting back into the match. However, thanks to excellent defense and a goal-happy offense, the chances of a UAB comeback kept getting smaller.

“Really good overall performance for our team,” Berson said. “I’m really proud of them, they’ve had some disappointments this year, but they’ve worked hard, they dug in, and they got a great result today.”

The Gamecocks’ 6-0 rout of the Blazers was the first time in over two decades that a South Carolina team beat an opponent by six goals or more. South Carolina defeated Charleston Southern 6-0 in 2000.

What’s next?

The Gamecocks will now hit the road once again, as they head to the Sunshine State next Saturday, April 10, to take on Florida International. The Panthers are coming off a 4-0 win over UAB on March 20 and will take on Kentucky before playing South Carolina.

Florida International is led in scoring by redshirt senior forward Alessandro Campoy with four goals and 8 points. The Gamecocks will be looking to avenge their 2019 loss to the Panthers, as FIU knocked out South Carolina in the C-USA tournament.

Kickoff is set for noon and will not be streamed.


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