Feb. 24, 2018
Meet #9 -- Auburn 12, Carolina 7
AUBURN, Ala. -- A valiant comeback effort came up just short for the University of South Carolina on Saturday as the ninth-ranked Gamecocks fell to No. 2 Auburn, 12-7. Carolina trailed 7-3 at one point but closed the gap to 9-7 before the Tigers pulled away for the victory.
The Gamecocks fell to 2-7 (0-6 SEC) with the loss. Auburn is now 7-3 (4-2 SEC).
Despite the setback, three Gamecocks won MOP honors Saturday. Chloe Schmidt (equitation on the flat), Lauren Fabiano (equitation over fences) and Caroline Gute (reining) were honored for their superlative rides against the Tigers.
Horsemanship and equitation on the flat ran simultaneously to open the day. Carolina took one point in horsemanship, with Gute scoring a 73-63 victory over Lauren Diaz on Chuck.
In equitation on the flat, two Gamecocks were successful. Madison Sellman took down Caitlyn Boyle on Calvin, 74-60, while Schmidt rode Sully past Ashton Alexander, 72-62. Midway through the meet, the Tigers held a 7-3 lead.
Carolina got back in the meet by winning three points in equitation over fences. Schmidt grabbed her second point of the day by riding Cento past Ashton Alexander, 86-85. Madison Brayman posted the highest score of the day with a 91-82 victory on Lego over Haley Iannotti, and Fabiano defeated Boyle on Ritz, 88-78, Still, the Tigers led, 9-6, with the second half of reining on the docket.
The first completed reining point went to Carolina, as Gute took home her second point of the day with a 67.5-67 win on Curtis over Deanna Green. That cut the deficit to 9-7 with four rides remaining, but Carolina was unable to score another point and fell, 12-7.
Fabiano was named jumping MOP for the fourth time this season. Schmidt is now a two-time flat MOP this year and a five-time winner for her career, while Gute was named reining MOP for the first time this year and the second time as a Gamecock.
FROM THE COACH
"It was fun for us to win three of the four MOPs on the road today. Our hunt seat team has been gaining confidence all spring, and they showed up today. I was especially proud of the jumping team. We had some technical eliminations in reining that I felt were not totally the fault of our riders. There were some great rides. We had our share of issues, but they continue to be fixable. The main thing is for our student-athletes to see improvement in practice and believe in what we are trying to accomplish. Of course, we want to win, but if we see improvement and support and positive attitudes toward each other and the coaches, then we will get on the winning side at some point. It's just a matter of time."-- Head Coach Boo Major
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks compete in doubleheader action on Friday, March 2 in Harrington, Del. Carolina rides against Baylor at 10 a.m. ET, followed by a meeting with host Delaware State.
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