Mollon, Gamecocks Defeat East Tennessee State, 5-2
Sept. 3, 2007
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - After using minimal offense in its victory over North Carolina, the South Carolina women's soccer team exploded with a 5-2 victory over East Tennessee State Monday night at Stone Stadium.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 2-0 on the season, and the loss drops the Buccaneer's to 0-1-1. South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith sits at one game under 100 wins in her career with a 99-84-17 record in 11 seasons as a head coach. Carolina also improved its home unbeaten streak to 12 games, dating back to August 31, 2006.
The Gamecocks held a 24-3 shot advantage in the game and collected six corner kicks after being limited to three shots and no corners in Saturday's victory in Chapel Hill.
"(Our team) came out fired up to play," Smith said. "They know that every game is important. That was definitely evident in everyone's play. We tried to rotate a lot of people and try new things. In the first half we took care of business, and in the second half East Tennessee State did a good job to keep pressure on us. It was a good game for us to put ourselves in position to do new things in the second half."
Darcel Mollon put the Gamecocks on the board early with two goals in the first 10 minutes of action. Mollon found the back left of the net 4:27 into the game courtesy of assists from Erin Sullivan and Ashley Kirk. Less than three minutes later, Danila Monteiro found Mollon streaking past the Buccaneer defense as the senior stroked a shot into the right corner of the net for her second score of the night.
Monteiro kept the Gamecocks on the offensive in the 11th minute with a goal of her own on a pass from Sullivan, who recorded her second assist of the game. The goal was the first in Garnet and Black for Monteiro, a junior college All-America selection last season.
The Buccaneers were able to slow the Carolina offense after the score before Annie Galloway notched her first goal of the season in the 34th minute with a header following a deflected corner kick. Blakely Mattern scored Carolina's fifth goal of the first half with a shot into the top of the net off a Monica Hogan corner kick and pass from Kimmy Gillespie.
"We've let teams hang around in the past," Smith said. "We haven't capitalized on our chances early. Tonight, we did just that. It was a nice change from even last year when we had teams that we've looked nice but never finished things off. Tonight we did a good job of coming out early to do that."
Carolina held a 15-1 shot advantage at the break.
Both teams found difficulties getting early opportunities in the second stanza. USC's best opportunity came in the 57th minute with Mollon blazing past the defense again, but she and Buccaneer goalkeeper Erin Bilyeu collided outside the box, knocking Mollon to the ground and keeping her out of the remainder of the game.
"Darcel had a great game," Smith said. "She got a knock but she adds a flair to the offense. The nice thing is that she can set people up or score goals, so it's nice to have her back."
East Tennessee State found its second shot opportunity of the game in the 82nd minute and converted the goal with Krista Tolliver's accurate boot in front of the goal off a corner kick. The Bucs found the back of the net again two minutes later when Rachel Van Horn kicked a shot past Laura Armstrong from 15 yards out to give the Bucs two goals on three shots.
South Carolina returns to action this weekend at the UCF Tournament in Orlando, Fla. The Gamecocks take on UC Davis in Friday's opener at 5 p.m. before competing against UNLV Sunday at 11 a.m.