Hunt Seat Rally Falls Short as Gamecocks Fall to Georgia on Saturday|
April 20, 2013
WACO, Texas - Despite nearly overcoming a four-point deficit against Georgia in Saturday's Hunt Seat semifinal meet, South Carolina's season came to an end with a 5-3 loss to the Bulldogs at the 2013 NCEA National Championships.
"We dug ourselves in a hole early with too many mistakes on the Flat, and I think we had some major mistakes that our girls wish they could have back," South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. "Frankly, without those mistakes, we would have been fine because of how well we did in the jumping. But I was very proud to see our Fences team go in there and give it their all with their backs in the corner, we just came up a little short. Our girls certainly put it all out there today and I felt like we were prepared, I just think we ended up beating ourselves."
The Gamecocks spotted Georgia an early four point lead on Saturday, as South Carolina's Equitation on the Flat team made some costly errors, allowing the Bulldogs to sweep the event, 4-0.
Down 4-0 and needing a sweep in Equitation Over Fences while making up a 42-point raw score differential, the Gamecocks fell short, winning three points for a final score of 5-3. Redshirt freshman Samantha Smith scored the first point for Carolina and her first point at nationals when she knocked off Olivia Dorey, 150-141, to cut Georgia's lead to just three points. After sophomore Katherine Schmidt lost her point to Georgia's Carly Anthony, senior Kimberly McCormack and Amber Henter won back-to-back points. McCormack entered the ring knowing she had to beat a 150 by the Bulldogs' Abby O'Mara, and in her final ride as a Gamecock, she scored a team-high 176 to win her point by a 26-point margin. Henter followed next with a 175-160 victory over Georgia's Sarah Milliren.
Saturday's meet brings an end to the career of McCormack, who will leave Carolina as the program's leader in wins, MVP's, postseason wins, and number of career rides. Earlier this month, she was named the SEC's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and will be headed to the University of Texas in the fall to begin graduate school.
"I was very happy for Kimmy to go out there today and win her jumping point," Major said. "She had a great trip and you always want to see your seniors win their final ride whenever they can. Her list of accomplishments and awards is truly something special, and it's been fun to watch her career over the last four years and we're all very proud of everything she has done."