Gamecocks, Arambula make much-anticipated trip to CCU

Former Myrtle Beach High soccer standout Ryan Arambula will have a homecoming of sorts this fall when his Gamecocks travel to face Coastal Carolina on Sept. 10.

South Carolina coach Mark Berson announced on Tuesday the schedule for the upcoming 2013 campaign, which marks the 36th season of varsity soccer at South Carolina and his program’s first trip to Coastal since 1980.

The Gamecocks will host 11 home dates this fall, including two exhibitions and the annual Gamecock Classic in mid-September.

The schedule features regular season contests against four teams ranked in the final 2012 NSCAA Top 25 Poll, and 10 teams that competed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, including three teams that advanced to the Round of 16.

“We traditionally play a very demanding schedule, and this year is no exception,” Berson commented. “Half of the teams on our schedule appeared in the NCAA tournament last year, which would qualify this as one of the toughest schedules in the country. We open at home on Friday night, Aug. 30, against East Tennessee State. Hopefully Gamecock fans will continue their tailgate from the Thursday night football opener right through Friday and come out to The Graveyard for some great college soccer.”

From the final NSCAA poll, South Carolina travels to No. 11 Coastal Carolina (Sept. 10) and No. 23 Charlotte (Sept. 27), before hosting No. 14 Tulsa (Oct. 6) and C-USA newcomer No. 10 New Mexico (Oct. 26) later in the fall.

Coastal has won the last two Big South regular season titles, going undefeated in league play during both the 2011 and 2012 campaigns. The Chanticleers earned a 3-2 victory over the Gamecocks in regular-season action in 2012 in Columbia.

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