Sudden impact: Gwinnett grads shine in college debuts with Gamecocks

By Will Hammock

Sports Editor

South Carolina men's soccer's recruiting haul in Gwinnett County didn't take very long to pay off.

The Gamecocks' four Gwinnett freshmen - Parkview grad Blake Brettschneider, Greater Atlanta Christian grad Sam Arthur, Peachtree Ridge grad Evan O'Dell and St. Pius grad Jimmy Maurer of Lawrenceville - have become immediate starters and led an upset of 12th-ranked Clemson last weekend.

The former club teammates followed the 1-0 win over Clemson with a 4-0 victory over Presbyterian.

Brettschneider scored the only goal of the Clemson match in the 109th minute of sudden-death overtime, converting on his team-high fourth shot of the night. Three days later, the forward was named the Conference USA Player of the Week.

Maurer, the now 15th-ranked Gamecocks' goalkeeper, has posted back-to-back scoreless efforts with seven saves. O'Dell also contributed to both shutouts as a starter in the South Carolina defense.

Arthur had a huge game vs. Presbyterian with two of the Gamecocks' four goals along with an assist. Brettschneider also had a pair of assists in that victory.

South Carolina plays this weekend in the UConn Adidas Classic in Storrs, Conn.


Diaz-Matosas assists historical upset

South Carolina sophomore Samantha Diaz-Matosas, a Brookwood grad, assisted on the game's only goal as the 21st-ranked Gamecocks upset No. 1-ranked North Carolina last Saturday for the program's first-ever win over a top-five opponent.

The loss was the first for the Tar Heels in a home opener in the 29-year history of the storied program. Diaz-Matosas, the Daily Post's player of the year in 2006, started all 22 matches in 2006 as a freshman.

English sets marks

Brookwood grad Jessica English, a freshman goalkeeper at North Georgia, recorded her fourth consecutive shutout to open the season, a 1-0 win over Anderson (S.C.). The performance tied a freshman school record as well as the school record since North Georgia moved to NCAA Division II play.


Destiche gets GCSU honor

Brookwood grad Dani Destiche, a freshman cross country runner at Georgia College and State University, was named the school's athlete of the week on Tuesday. Destiche was second overall in 19 minutes, 47 seconds at last weekend's meet at Augusta State.

Her time was just three seconds off the school record.


Sam, Donaldson face off

Texas El-Paso found a variety of ways to get the ball to Buford grad Lorne Sam in last Saturday's 10-6 win over New Mexico. Sam completed 2 of 4 passes for 22 yards, rushed five times for 23 yards and caught a 22-yard pass.

One of the players chasing Sam around was Central Gwinnett grad Tyler Donaldson of New Mexico. Although his team lost, Donaldson made a team-high nine tackles, including two for losses and a sack.

Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com or via fax to 770-339-8081.