MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – The College of Charleston men’s soccer team pulled off a statement win Sunday night, not only completing a perfect 3-0 sweep of their exhibition season, but knocking off the No. 24 USC Gamecocks by a score of 2-0.
• Nico Rittmeyer was the player of the game with two first-half goals. The first came less than two minutes into the contest off a a rebound opportunity, and the second was a well-placed header 33 minutes later.
• Avery Ryan came off his hat-trick performance against Queens to pick up right where he left off notching two assists on Rittmeyer’s goals. The second in particular was a thing of beauty, as he placed a cross perfectly on target. Eli Dent also notched an assist on the first goal, with his free kick setting up the scoring play.
• Kevin Shields stood tall in frame, earning the shutout on the strength of his three saves. Despite a scary moment in the opening stanza where he collided with USC’s Koty Millard, he was none the worse for wear and finished the game.
• Both teams had their fair share of chances, with the Cougars slightly edging the Gamecocks 7-6 in corners and 16-11 in shots.
“This game showed us it doesn’t matter what conference you come from, it’s all about the preparation you put in in the summer,” Rittmeyer said. “I give credit to the guys for all their hard work. With an in-state rivalry like this one, we really wanted it from the start and it meant a lot to us.”
“We tried to carry the momentum from last time against Queens,” Rittmeyer said. “Luckily, this time it was me with two. Last time it was Avery with three, and when one of us isn’t scoring, the other one is, so that’s good.”
The Cougars begin their season in earnest next weekend when they host the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Soccer Classic at Patriots Point. Their next contest, a Friday Night Futbol affair, pits them against the Navy Midshipmen.