USC Soccer Beats #8 Elon 3-1
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — Two big second-half goals from junior Danny Deakin propelled South Carolina (4-2-1) to a 3-1 victory over No. 8 Elon (7-1) on Tuesday night in front of an announced crowd of 2,458 fans at Stone Stadium. South Carolina struck first in the 31st minute on senior Kevin Walker‘s strike from inside the 18. He collected a loose ball after redshirt senior Asa Kryst knocked the ball away after a careless Elon pass. That 1-0 advantage for the Garnet and Black held through halftime. The Phoenix leveled things in the 50th minute when Eduardo Alvarez punched in a free kick from 23 yards away. It took 21 minutes, but Deakin ended up answering Alvarez‘s score with a free-kick goal of his own, sending one around the wall and in from 26 yards out in the 71st minute. Deakin finished things in the 88th minute with a goal from eight yards away, getting a chip pass from junior Kurtis Turner that he put into the nets to close the scoring at 3-1. Game Changer: Deakin‘s free-kick goal delivered the momentum back to the Gamecocks and stood as the game-winner in the victory. Key Stat: Four shots from Deakin all went on goal, with the brace tying him the Conference USA scoring lead. Notables: “¢ Seven Gamecocks again played all 90 minutes, including all four defenders in the new alignment, Ive Burnett, Matt McManis, Peyton Ericson and Koty Millard. “¢ Kryst and Walker had the other shots on goal for the Gamecocks. “¢ Elon‘s Alvarez had four shots, two coming on goal. No other Phoenix player had multiple shots on goal. “¢ Tonight‘s win is the South Carolina‘s first over a top-10 team since a 4-3 win at No. 10 UAB on Nov. 3, 2013. Quotable: Head coach Mark Berson It was great stuff, two good teams going toe-to-toe was the story of the night. I was proud of our guys. They gave a great effort on the night. Elon had let in three goals all year against some really good teams, so for us to knock three in tonight was good. Defensively, we need to improve a little bit. Our second half wasn‘t as sharp as our first half. We have a lot of things to work on, but (the scoreboard) says 3-1, so we‘ll take that. Elon‘s a very good team, very organized, great emotion, great spirit. We did a pretty good job controlling their midfield, which is an important part of their game. We attacked reasonably well, though our efficiency wasn‘t what we need. Defensively, we had some soft spots, but we were able to stand up and get the result. Up Next: The tough tests continue for South Carolina, as No. 7 New Mexico comes to town for the Gamecocks‘ Conference USA home opener. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday night at Stone Stadium.