UNCW Press Release
COLUMBIA, South Carolina – Jamie Dell's goal in the 82nd minute was the difference as UNCW topped 17th-ranked South Carolina, 2-1, in men's soccer action on Friday at Eugene E. Stone Stadium.
The Seahawks improved to 3-1-1 with their second road win of the season while the Gamecocks dropped to 3-1. The win snapped a four-game losing streak to USC.
"This is a huge result for us on the road at South Carolina," said UNCW Head Coach Aidan Heaney. "This is a difficult place to go and win, and Coach Berson has a talented team as shown by their national ranking this week. I thought we were a little soft to concede early, although a heck of a strike, but we rebounded well for the remainder of the half and managed to equalize when Freddy pounced on Brayden Smith's header off the crossbar."
On the winning goal, Dell was on the finishing end of a pass from Brayden Smith and ripped his shot past USC goalkeeper Marco Velez with 8:23 left in the contest from 15 yards out.
South Carolina grabbed an early lead in the ninth minute when Ive Burnett's first goal of the season beat UNCW goalkeeper Sean Melvin.
Sophomore Freddy Nzekele drew the Seahawks even just before the half with his second goal of the season. Nzekele converted a rebound off a shot from Kellen Foster on the play at the 40:08 mark.
UNCW shutdown the Gamecocks, allowing just five total shots, including two in the second half. The Seahawks owned a 12-5 advantage in shots and 10-1 in corner kicks.
"In the second half I felt we created the better chances, their keeper made an incredible save on a shot from Jack Ward. Jamie finished his chance really well, and I was delighted the way we managed the game to deal an important win."
"Brayden Smith had an outstanding debut as a freshman and looked like he had been with us for years, so delighted with his performance. But I thought the contribution from our bench was significant and was a major factor on the result."
Melvin finished with one save while Velez was credited with five.
"Now we look forward to an always difficult game against Campbell who are 3-0 this season."
UP NEXT: The Seahawks visit Campbell on Sept. 16 for a 6 p.m. start at the Eakes Athletics Complex.
NOTES: For Dell, it was his fifth game-winning goal of his career … UNCW topped #11 UNC Chapel Hill on the road last season, 1-0, for its win against a ranked opponent … Nzekele had his second game-tying goal of the season (Ohio State, 9/5).