COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of New Hampshire men's soccer team battled sixth-ranked South Carolina gallantly, but a Gamecock goal just past the 75-minute mark gave South Carolina the 1-0 win Friday night in front of 899 at Stone Stadium in the first round of the Gamecock Soccer Classic. UNH, ranked fifth in this week's NSCAA New England region poll, suffered its first defeat of the year as the 'Cats fall to 4-1-0, while South Carolina ran its season-opening win streak to five games.
After a scoreless first half, the Gamecocks got on the board with 14:39 to play. Jordan Quinn headed a crossing pass from J.C. Desriac past UNH keeper Mike Vignola (Hudson, N.H.) for the 1-0 lead. Moments earlier, Desriac had fired a shot at Vignola but the sophomore made a sprawling save to momentarily preserve the tie.
New Hampshire would pressure late. The 'Cats had a corner kick with 11 minutes to play, but the Gamecocks were able to clear the ball before the Wildcats could get a shot off. Moments later, Nicola Chicco (Claymont, Del.) would work free and break away with the ball but was slowed by a USC defender in the box.
The 'Cats would have one last scoring opportunity with just under two minutes to play. Doug Lawver (Doylestown, Pa.) made a long curling serve into the box, but no UNH player could get to it and the ball sailed past the end line.
Vignola made six saves for New Hampshire and also saw his scoreless streak snapped at 309:20 on Quinn's goal. Michael Bachmeyer made one save for South Carolina.
The South Carolina Gamecock Classic concludes Sunday when UNH takes on College of Charleston at 11 a.m. Charleston fell to No. 10 Washington 2-0 in Friday's early game. The next Wildcat home game is October 5, when UNH takes on Northeastern in a 2:00 p.m. game at Lewis Field.