No. 25 Tigers Host Dangerous Gamecock Team Saturday
Oct. 19, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The No. 25 Memphis men's soccer team (7-2-3, 2-0-2 C-USA), unbeaten in Conference USA competition this year, will host the South Carolina Gamecocks (8-4-0, 2-1-0 C-USA) at Mike Rose Soccer Complex Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Tigers have never beaten South Carolina in the teams' three-match history, the most recent encounter a 2-1 double overtime loss at No. 11 South Carolina.
After an 11-5-1 season last year that saw the Gamecocks reach as high as No. 6 in the polls, South Carolina has seen the No. 15 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's (NSCAA) national poll this year. Currently No. 4 in the NSCAA's South Region poll, USC is just outside the top-25 in the NSCAA, SoccerTimes.com and CollegeSoccerNews.com national polls.
Carolina head coach Mark Berson is seeking his 400th career victory at the helm for the Gamecocks. He has eight wins under his belt this year, and he's done it with a team led by three freshmen and a stingy defense. Rookie keeper Jimmy Maurer leads the league with a 0.93 goals against average and is second with a save percentage of .823. Injured Sam Arthur is third in the league with five goals scored but leads C-USA with an average of 1.33 points per game, and Blake Brettschneider has tallied three game-winning goals.
Memphis enters Saturday's match looking to win its third consecutive conference match. Drawing ties against UCF and No. 20 earlier this year, the Tigers tacked three goals on Kentucky at home before besting Marshall on the road, 2-1, on Wednesday. Memphis has lost just one game before a home crowd this season, and has outscored opponents 13-6 in six matches at Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
With the opening score at Marshall on Wednesday, senior forward Kevin Walsh became the Tigers' leading scorer with five goals. Jared Britcher continued his clutch performance, as he tallied two assists against The Herd to earn his team-leading 13th point. Thomas Hyland's game-winning goal was his first of the year and evidenced just how wide the Tigers have distributed the offensive load: Hyland was the 13th Tiger to net a goal this season. Only two Tigers who have played at least four games this year have failed to score, goalkeeper Tyler Strom (who has one assist) and midfielder Sean Goulding, who has assumed the role of the set-up man and leads the team with six assists.
Saturday's match is the second of a three game weekend of Memphis soccer at Mike Rose that is part of the Fiesta de Futbol, a soccer celebration with a Spanish flare. The first 100 fans through the gate will receive a free Tigers maraca.