The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: South Carolina men's soccer beats Campbell in first shutout victory of season

The South Carolina men's soccer team used a strong first half and defensive effort to shutout Campbell 1-0 on Saturday, Sept. 17. 

South Carolina men’s soccer defeated Campbell 1-0 on Saturday night at Stone Stadium, making it its third consecutive win at home this season.

A strong first half and a gritty defensive effort were keys to the Gamecocks' success on the night. 

“In the first 30 minutes I thought we were very, very good,” head coach Tony Annan said. “I thought we exemplified everything we’ve been working on … so proud of the lads and how hard they had to work to hang onto the result.” 

South Carolina set the tempo from the first whistle. The only goal came in the 19th minute from freshman midfielder Cristiano Bruletti. It started with great build-up play through the midfield with freshman midfielder Rocky Perez. It then fell to the feet of senior forward Logan Frost who slipped a final pass for Bruletti to finish to the near post to earn the first goal of his freshman campaign. 

“It was a good moment,” Bruletti said. “I just saw the space really open up so I just took one touch forward and then just thought to put it on goal and try to make the keeper make a save and it just happened to go in."

After Bruletti’s goal, South Carolina started to lose control of the game. The offense lacked dangerous chances, totaling seven shots compared to Campbell’s 14. Despite this, the Gamecocks were more clinical in their moments which gave them the edge on the night.  

On the defensive side, freshman goalkeeper Ben Alexander and the backline earned the first shutout of the season.

“Defensively we were fantastic,” Annan said. “They faced a very, very good team with some very, very good individuals and they handled it.” 

The backline was called upon to make great defensive plays and keep Campbell off the scoreboard. They were solid throughout the entirety of the match, limiting the Camels' offense to three shots on goal. Alexander also made two tremendous saves to keep South Carolina ahead. 

In preparation for their next matchup, Annan and the Gamecocks will look to maintain control of the game and put together a full 90-minute performance the next time they step out onto the pitch. 

“We had a hold of the game by the scruff of the neck, and again, we let it go,” Annan said. “We’ve got to maintain and try to hold onto the game for a bit longer.”

With the win, South Carolina improves its record to 3-3-1 on the season. Up next, the Gamecocks will host Queens University of Charlotte on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. The game can be viewed on ESPNᐩ.