Aug. 20, 2010
By Miquel Jacobs
BOSTON - Junior Lolly Holland broke open an even game in the 82nd minute with a goal to lead No. 12 South Carolina to a 1-0 victory against Boston University Friday night at Nickerson Field in Boston. The win moves the Gamecocks to 1-0-0 on the year and drops the Terriers to 0-1-0 in the season opener for both squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year.
Holland notched her second career goal with less than nine minutes to go to put the Gamecocks on the board with a 1-0 lead. The goal came at 81:41 courtesy of an assist from MAC Hermann Trophy Award watch list candidate Kayla Grimsley. With the win, South Carolina improves to 9-5-2 all-time in season openers, and it is their first victory in a road season opening game since the team defeated No. 1 North Carolina 1-0 in the 2007 opener.
Holland's score broke open an even game that saw the Terriers control possession the first half before the Gamecocks began to put together their own runs in the second stanza. Before the South Carolina victory, Boston University had not lost a home game since the 2008 opener against Boston College. The Terriers went undefeated at home in 2009 and had a string of 20 consecutive wins at Nickerson Field.
"It was a first game performance," South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. "We're going to get better from here. The fact that the team came through and put it together on the road against a very good BU team, I'm thrilled with the results and proud of our effort. We have a lot to work with, and we'll get better each game."
Senior goalkeeper Mollie Patton earned her 23rd career shutout and continues to widen her South Carolina record for career shutouts. She is now 10 shy of tying the SEC record.
The first half was one of few opportunities for the Gamecocks, but when they came they were fierce. In the 10th minute, a cross from Brittiny Rhoades found Brooke Jacobs on the right flank whose shot hit the inside of the post but bounced back out before crossing the line. Twenty minutes later, Rhoades had a corner that fell in front of the net, but Jacobs's shot was blocked after another Gamecock attempt in front of the keeper also ricocheted back. Boston held an 8-3 shot advantage at the break.
The Gamecocks began to put their own pressure eon the ball in the second half, earning a 6-2 advantage in shots for the stanza. Carolina had its first look of the half in the 50th minute when Samantha Gonzalez played a ball to Grimsley, who did a give-and-go with Christine Watts before the shot was jump saved by the keeper.
A second chance came in the 75th minute with a high rising strike that also required Boston's Alice Binnis to jump for the save. In the same vein, Jacobs hit a strike from 20 yards out the sailed past the backline but also missed the net wide left. It wasn't until Grimsley played a ball to Holland in the 82nd minute that the Gamecocks were able to put their hard work into a goal.
With five minutes to play, Boston's Katherine Donnelly hit a strong ball from 30 yards out that sailed to the upper right corner of the goal, but Patton grabbed her fifth save of the game to prevent the score and keep the Gamecocks ahead.
The Terriers invoked memories of South Carolina's last game out - a 1-0 defeat to Wake Forest in the NCAA Round of 16 with one second remaining - when Boston seemingly tied the game with one second remaining. However, the Terrier attacker was called offsides and the goal was disallowed.
South Carolina returns to action Sunday when the team plays Northeastern University in its home opener. The game is scheduled for 12 noon, and live stats can be found at GAmecocksOnline.com. Northeastern will also provide a live internet video broadcast on their website for $9.95.
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