Men’s soccer: Gamecocks score early lead in 3-2 win over Winthrop

No. 24 South Carolina took control early with two first-half goals Thursday on the way to a 3-2 victory over Winthrop at Stone Stadium in its second exhibition contest of 2016.

Freshman Luca Mayr got the scoring started in the 13th minute off a feed from senior Kevin Walker, finding the far post from the right side. Twelve minutes later Koty Millard found the back of the net, also off a pass from Walker, to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.

Senior Danny Deakin was next, launching a free kick just out of reach of the Eagle goaltender into the top left corner of the net to extend Carolina’s lead to 3-0 in the 60th minute.

The Eagles salvaged a pair of goals late in the second half, one each from junior forwards Rasmus Arousell and Kento Ito, to close the contest.

“I thought for the first 60 minutes, it was electrifying,” said head coach Mark Berson. “I thought we were really sharp, really fast, clicking on all cylinders, and sound defensively. When we made some changes, it kind of fell off a little bit. That’s disappointing, but that’s something that is easily correctable.”

Senior Kevin Walker fueled the Gamecocks early, assisting on both Gamecock goals in the first half, and senior goalkeeper Marco Velez got the start in goal tonight and posted a clean sheet in the first half.

Seniors Kevin Walker and Danny Deakin have recorded a point in each of Carolina’s first two preseason matches. Freshman Luca Mayr scored his first goal in the Garnet and Black.

Carolina travels to the College of Charleston for its final preseason tune-up at 7 p.m. Sunday before returning home to open the regular season against No. 3 Clemson at 7 p.m. Friday. A reminder that South Carolina Athletics’ new clear bag policy will be in effect for all home contests.

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