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3. RIVALRIES: The Palmetto State derby
August 25th, 2006 5:47PM
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South Carolina and Clemson renew one of the great rivalries in men's soccer Friday night when they meet in Columbia, S.C. The Palmetto State derby in one of the great state rivalries. Nine of the 20 biggest crowds in the history of the Graveyard, since renamed Hunt Stadium, are for USC-Clemson games. Last year's game at Clemson was typical of the excitement. The host Tigers tied the score at 1-1 with 22 seconds left off a desperation play after throwing all 11 players into the attack, and they won on a golden goal.

This year, both teams have goalies on the Soccer America Preseason All-American Team: Clemson's Phil Marfuggi and South Carolina's Mike Gustavson. Clemson, ranked No. 6 in the Soccer America Preseason Top 25, features two of the nation's most intriguing transfers. Brazilian Frederico Moojen (Lincoln Memorial) and David Bell (Berry) join Jamaica international Dane Richards in the Tiger attack.

"We topped last year with another strong recruiting year," said Clemson coach Trevor Adair. "We feel good about this season."

South Carolina coach Mark Berson says this year's game should be a real battle.

"I think we're two very similar teams," Berson said. "They didn't start off last season very well either, but they put together a great run down the stretch and a good run in the NCAA Tournament as well. They return a good core of players right down the field, as we do. It should be a very interesting match-up."

ORIGINS. Clemson was already a national power when South Carolina launched men's soccer in 1978. It wasn't until 1986 that the Gamecocks beat Clemson at home, winning, 4-3, in one of the great games in the rivalry.

COACHES. Adair was Berson's assistant at South Carolina for nine years (1982-90). During their time together, South Carolina became a national power, advancing to the final four for the first time in 1988. Berson (391 career wins) is the only coach South Carolina has ever had. Adair is in his 12th season at Clemson. The closest either coach came to winning a national championship was in 1993 when South Carolina lost to Virginia in the final.

PLAYERS.  Both teams have a tradition of great goalkeeping. The Tigers have had four All-American goalkeepers in the last nine years: Matt Jordan (1997), Josh Campbell (1998), Doug Warren (2002) and Marfuggi (2005). Jamie Swanner was named the National Goalkeeper of the Year in 1983. For South Carolina, Warren Lipka and Charles Arndt were National Goalkeepers of the Year in 1985 and 1988, respectively. More recently, Harry Ring was a two-time All-American, while Brad Guzan was an All-American in 2004. He left after his sophomore year to sign with MLS's Chivas USA. Guzan's departure paved the way for Gustavson to start as a freshman in 2005.

STATISTICS. Clemson leads the overall series with South Carolina, 21-11-1. The teams have met five times in the NCAA Tournament. Clemson won in 1979 and 1997; South Carolina prevailed in 1980, 1990 and 1993.

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