The University of South Carolina Sumter men's soccer came back from a 2-1 deficit in the second half to down USC Salkehatchie 4-2 in their home opener on Tuesday at USC Sumter Soccer Field.
Connor McAlister, a former Sumter High School standout, …
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Connor McAlister, a former Sumter High School standout, and freshman Addison Bryant from St. James High in Myrtle Beach, scored two goals apiece to help the Fire Ants improve to 2-1 on the season.
USC Salkehatchie jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with 20:34 remaining in the first half as USC Sumter struggled to create scoring opportunities.
"I thought we just looked real flat to start the game," said USC Sumter head coach Skottowe Fox. "Intensity was lacking, and I didn't think we were putting in the effort we needed."
Bryant answered with his first goal of the game with 7:25 remaining in the half. Graham Owiriwa provided the assist as Bryant fought through a defender to score from around eight yards out.
USC Salkehatchie answered with its second goal just three minutes later, and went to halftime leading 2-1.
"We got after it at halftime, and the reaction was fantastic," said Fox. "I told them if they got the second goal to equalize we'd go on to win the game and sure enough, we got it. The turnaround was immediate."
McAlister provided the equalizer, notching his first goal of the game with 27:47 to play to tie the game at 2-2.
"Connor looked really good," said Fox "He's been playing as a forward for us, and we moved him into the midfield so he could get more touches on the ball. He looked real sharp. I think he was just a nightmare for Salkehatchie to handle, and we owe a lot of the credit to him for the win."
McAlister then drew a key penalty in the box with 8:04 remaining to set up a penalty kick opportunity for Bryant. Bryant
converted on the penalty kick to give the Fire Ants the lead, and ultimately the victory. McAlister then added the fourth goal on a breakaway with just two seconds remaining to put the exclamation point on the victory.
"It feels really good," said Fox. "For us to finish and get the win does wonders for our confidence for the next game."
The Fire Ants will hit the road for their next game, traveling to Cedar Bluff, Virginia, to face Southwest Virginia Community College on Saturday.
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