Aug. 29, 2005
Columbia, S.C. - Erin Sullivan's first goal of the season almost two minutes into the second half lifted the South Carolina women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Furman on Monday evening at Stone Stadium. Carolina improves to 2-0 on the season while the loss drops Furman to 1-1 on the year. Darcel Mollon also scored her first goal of the season for the Gamecocks and goalkeeper Lindsay Thorstenson earned her second win between the posts with two saves on the night.
"We had some more challenges to face tonight," said USC head coach Shelley Smith. "Every team we face we have to get better and better. We can't go back on our performance and that's what we have to learn from the match."
Mollon put Carolina ahead 1-0 in the 26th minute off a cross pass from Courtney Cobbs. Cobbs was able to beat a Furman defender to the end line and played a pass into the box, where Mollon was waiting and put in a header goal from just five yards out and pass the Lady Paladin goalkeeper Andie Hinshaw.
"Courtney Cobbs worked very hard tonight and created a lot of chances for us, breaking down their defense 1v1 on the flank," said Smith. "That really keeps a team going when you are getting into the attacking 1/3."
Furman would knot the match at one apiece just before halftime at 44:45 as a long service played by Tara Marker found Andre'a Morrison, who broke past the Carolina defense and knocked a shot to the left corner and past Thorstenson tying the match with just 15 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Gamecocks broke out of the gates though early in the second half with Sullivan scoring the game-winner at 46:55. Junior midfielder Jessi Swaim gained possession of the ball down the left flank and played back to Sullivan, who launched a shot from 30 yards out that went above the head of Hinshaw and into the net giving Carolina a one-goal edge.
"Giving away a goal with 15 seconds left in the half is inexcusable and we need to make sure we learn from that," said Smith. "For the team to come back and get the win, I give our players a lot of credit. Erin Sullivan did a great job with her opportunity in the second half. That's what we like to see out of her. She has the ability to shoot from the long range and pull the trigger and she did that. We played a much better second half. The effort was much better. We still need to improve on some things, it is a learning experience and we got a win."
The match remained 2-1 the rest of the way with both teams creating goal scoring opportunities but neither finding the back of the net. USC outshot Furman 10-7 with also a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. Cobbs, Ashley Kirk, Mollon, Sullivan and Swaim all had two shots apiece to account for the 10 shots on the evening for Carolina.
"There is a lot of things we did well in spurts, we just have to be sure to be playing for the 90 minutes like we did the other night against Mercer," said Smith.
South Carolina heads on the road next for the Auburn Reebok Classic this weekend beginning on Friday Sept. 2 at 4:30 p.m. CT with USC facing Rhode Island. South Carolina will also meet Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 12 p.m. CT.
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