Carolina Heads To Third-Seeded Clemson For NCAA Second Round
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — South Carolina (11-7-1) is set to battle instate rival Clemson (12-3-5) in the Second Round of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship on Sunday night at Riggs Field. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. The Tigers are the No. 3 national seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
“It’s always good to advance in the tournament, and I’m very proud of our guys,” said Head Coach Mark Berson. “Our match with Clemson this year was close and hard-fought. We look forward to a rematch on Sunday.”
Sunday night’s showdown will be the sixth career NCAA match between the two storied programs. The all-time series in the NCAA Tournament is tied at 2-2-1. Only one game has been played at Stone Stadium, with Clemson winning 1-0 in the Second Round of the 1997 NCAA Tournament. That game also marks the last time the two teams have met in the postseason.
The Gamecocks own a 2-1-1 all-time record in NCAA play at Riggs Field. The last time the two teams played at Clemson in the tournament was 1993 in the NCAA Second Round. Carolina won 3-2 in front of 6,720 fans after scoring two goals in the game’s opening 20 minutes. The Gamecocks’ win marked the first time in program history that the Tigers had been beaten twice at home in the same season.
Earlier this season, Clemson downed South Carolina 2-1 in Columbia. The Tigers struck first in the 14th minute when Austen Burnikel took a cross into the box and placed it low to the far side for a 1-0 lead. 59 seconds later senior Kevin Walker evened the score at 1-1 with his first goal of the season. Clemson regained the lead in the 27th minute on a free kick by Aaron Jones. Carolina held a 13-6 advantage in shots and 8-5 edge in corners.
6,892 fans attended the match, which set a new single-game attendance record at The Graveyard.
The Tigers lead the all-time series 26-17-1 after their win back in August. Carolina is 0-3 in its last three road matches in the series.
Gates open at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Riggs Field. Reserved seats are $8. General admission tickets are $6 (adults) and $4 (youth).
GAMECOCK QUICK HITS
– Mark Berson is the winningest active NCAA Division I coach, 5th on the all-time NCAA D1 list
– Berson is tied for the most NCAA Tournament appearances among active DI coaches with 22
– South Carolina is 16-21-3 (.438) all-time in the NCAA Tournament with a 12-10-3 (.574) record at the friendly confines of Stone Stadium
– Carolina finished the season ranked No. 35 in the final RPI standings released by the NCAA on Nov. 15
– Nine student-athletes earned C-USA All-Conference honors, led by senior Danny Deakin, who was named to the first team for the second consecutive season
– Midfielder Kurtis Turner and forward Bjorn Gudjonsson earned second team All-C-USA honors
– Midfielder Koty Millard, defender Ive Burnett, goalkeeper William Pyle, defender Peyton Ericson and midfielder Julian Veen Uldal earned third team All-C-USA honors
– Veen Uldal and forward Luca Mayr were named to the C-USA All-Freshman team
– South Carolina had an eight-match unbeaten streak snapped in a 1-0 loss to No. 2 Wake Forest on Oct. 18
– The streak dated back to a 2-1 overtime win vs. Georgia Southern on Sept. 13.
– During the streak, Carolina outscored opponents 15-4 and pitched four shutouts
– Pyle was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 17 after posting back-to-back shutouts; Pyle had eight saves including five vs. UAB and a PK save in the 108th minute at FIU
– Pyle is 11-5-1 on the season with 64 saves and five shutouts; his .800 save percentage during the regular season ranked third in C-USA and his 0.91 goals against average tied for fourth in the conference
– Carolina picked up its biggest win of the season on Nov. 4, after downing No. 12 Kentucky on Senior Night at Stone Stadium; sophomore Andre Streete headed in the game-winner in the 86th minute on a Deakin corner kick; Gudjonsson scored the Gamecocks first goal in the 44th minute
– Carolina’s win over Furman on Sept. 20 was its first of the season over a ranked opponent, as the Paladins were slotted No. 18 by Soccer America
– Turner was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 26 after scoring the game-winning goal at Furman and recording his second assist of the season vs. Georgia State
– The Gamecocks posted a season-high 27 shots and 11 shots on goal in their win vs. Georgia Southern
– Deakin (7G, 6A) leads the team in points with 20; Gudjonsson ranks second with 17 (8G, 1A)
– Mayr and Deakin are tied for the team lead in shots (48)
– South Carolina’s balanced offensive attack features five players with double-digit SOG: Deakin (19), Mayr (18), Walker (13), Turner (13) and Gudjonsson (10)
– Mayr scored his first career goal as a Gamecock vs. Mercer on Aug. 30
– Mayr tallied an individual single-game season-high five SOG vs. Georgia Southern
– Deakin leads the team with five game-winning goals, which tied for the regular season conference lead and ninth in the nation
SCOUTING No. 3 Clemson
The Tigers are the No. 3 national seed in this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship. Clemson finished No. 2 in the final RPI standings released by the NCAA. Diego Campos leads the team with 15 points (6G, 3A). He’s tallied 52 shots and 26 SOG to the lead the team. Aaron Jones is second on the team with nine points (3G, 3A). Jones scored the game-winner in the 27th minute against Carolina in Clemson’s 2-1 win on Aug. 26 to kickoff the season. South Carolina held a 13-6 advantage in the shot column and an 8-5 advantage in corner kicks in the first meeting. Goalkeeper Zimo Miralles is one of the nation’s best. His 0.68 goals against average and .822 save percentage both rank in the top-20 nationally amongst goalies. He’s logged 60 saves and has 10 shutouts on the year. The Tigers .55 shutout percentage is No. 8 in the nation. Clemson is one of the country’s top defensive teams.