The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: A set piece is determining factor in Gamecock men’s soccer loss to Upstate

<p>South Carolina men's soccer team huddle in a group.&nbsp;</p>

South Carolina men's soccer team huddle in a group. 

The Gamecock men’s soccer team lost 1-0 in a frustrating match against USC Upstate on Friday night. South Carolina dominated possession and created a surplus of goal-scoring opportunities throughout the ninety minutes. 

“I’m pleased with the style of play we are trying to play,” head coach Tony Annan said. “They are working as hard as they can and I’ve got to give them respect for that.”

The Gamecock offense came alive from the first whistle. Sophomore defender Christian Kraus led the team with three shots and created problems for the Spartan backline all night long. 

The closest chance came in the 11th minute from graduate midfielder Kyle Gurrieri. He struck the ball just outside the 18-yard-box and it deflected off of the crossbar back into the run of play. 

Alongside the offense, the Gamecock backline had a strong showing. Together it limited the Spartan offense to only five shots and two corner kick opportunities. Junior defender Mark Roby and senior defender Josh Corning came up with some big tackles to keep the team alive. 

Despite being part of the backline, sophomore defender Justin Kopay was involved with the attack the entire night. He provided a spark on the flank with combination play and consistent service into the box. 

Even though South Carolina dominated for the majority of the match, one of Upstate’s two set pieces resulted in a goal. In the 52nd minute, Spartan forward Hayden Anderson scored a header off of a corner kick to give Upstate the lead in the second half. 

“This is football. It’s a process, and you’ve got to stick to it,” Annan said. “I know we’ll be better in a few weeks time than we are today.” 

The Gamecocks are now 1-4 on the season. They will return to action on Tuesday, Sept. 21, where they will play Mercer at Stone Stadium at 7 p.m.