CLEMSON, S.C. – After evening the match at 1-1 in the second half, South Carolina (1-1-0) was unable to put Clemson (2-0-0) away and fell to the Tigers 2-1 in double overtime at Riggs Field on Monday night. Freshman Thales Moreno tallied the Tigers’ game-winner in the 102nd minute of the match.
“We made some adjustments at halftime and I thought the guys did great. We dominated the first part of the second half. We got the goal and had a couple of other chances to put them away; we just couldn’t finish them. I’m really proud of the way our guys adjusted at halftime and the way we came out and took the game to Clemson,” South Carolina head coach Mark Berson said of the effort. “In the overtimes, I thought it was pretty even. We had a couple good opportunities to win and they just didn’t fall for us. It’s a tough way to lose, but I take a lot more positives out of this game than anything else.”
Clemson held a 9-4 upper hand in corner kicks and a 17-10 advantage in shots. The Tigers put nine of their shots on goal while the Gamecocks put three on frame. Senior midfielder Alex Stockinger and junior midfielder Manolo Sanchez led Clemson with three shots apiece. Junior defender Mahamoudou Kaba led the Gamecocks with three shots.
Gamecock sophomore keeper Robert Beebe recorded five saves, but took the loss. Sophomore Clemson goalkeeper Chris Glodack notched two saves and the win.
After a foul on Clemson in the 13th minute, the Gamecocks nearly struck first. Sophomore midfielder Ryan Arambula restarted play with a cross into the box. Junior midfielder Stephen Anderson was on the other end of the ball, but his header missed just wide.
Ten minutes later, the Tigers were granted a penalty kick after the Gamecocks were whistled for a handball. Graduate midfielder Thomas McNamera stood over the ball and stutter-stepped before sending the ball just past the fingertips of a diving Beebe. The goal gave Clemson a 1-0 lead.
In the 34th minute, Beebe came out of goal to cut off a striking freshman Alexandre Rome’o Happi, and the shot sailed wide to keep the Gamecocks within striking distance.
The Tigers did not let up to start the second half, registering two shots in the first five minutes of the period. Clemson’s McNamera found a streaking Sanchez who fired a shot, but a diving Beebe was there for the stop.
The Gamecocks found the offensive switch just minutes later. Freshman midfielder Kurtis Turner got off his second shot of the night. Turner’s shot was blocked, but the Gamecocks were awarded their first corner kick of the match.
South Carolina quickly found their second corner of the match after a Braeden Troyer shot was saved. Arambula connected with Kaba on the other end of the corner. Timing his jump perfectly, Kaba found the back of the net on a header from six yards out.
Freshman Ive Burnett nearly gave South Carolina the advantage in the 68th minute on a throw in from the near side. The freshman sent a rocket to the goal that ricocheted off both posts, but not crossing the goal line.
In the 76th minute, the Tigers tried to put the Gamecocks away on a set piece after a Gamecock foul. McNamara fired a ball towards the goal, but Kaba was there to erase the shot.
After 90 minutes, the teams remained tied at 1-1, sending the rivals to overtime for the 11th time in the history of the series.
Just a minute and a half into extra time, Arambula and Kaba tried to connect again, but the threat was unsuccessful and overtime continued.
Moreno took a Clemson corner kick in the 97th minute. Junior defender Phanuel Kavita was on the other end and sent a hard shot, but Beebe was there with his fifth save of the night to keep the Gamecocks alive.
In the second ten-minute overtime period, Moreno was true on the second Clemson shot of the period to give the Tigers the win in the 102nd minute.
The Gamecocks return to Stone Stadium on Friday, Sept. 6, as they continue non-conference play against High Point. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Season tickets for men's soccer, which includes admission to all home games, are currently on sale in the Gamecock Ticket Office. Fans can purchase tickets online at GamecocksOnline.com, or by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS. Cost for season tickets for men's soccer is $25 for adults and $10 for youth (17 and under).