Sept. 16, 2007
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The 13th-ranked South Carolina women's soccer team defeated Furman, 2-0, and improved to a school-best seven-game winning streak Sunday to win the Carolinas' Cup held at Transamerica Field. Amanda Dabbenigno scored the game-winning goal to register the first score of her career.
South Carolina improves to 7-0-0 for the first time in school history. Carolina also matches the longest unbeaten streak to begin a season as the 2001 team began 5-0-2. The longest unbeaten streak in USC history stands at eight games set in 2003. The Gamecocks improve to 10-2-1 all-time against Furman and have won the past four meetings between the teams.
"It was a good weekend for us and another good weekend on the road," head coach Shelley Smith said. "We played three games in six days, and to go and win two on the road is an accomplishment. A lot of people played and we had good performances, so I'm happy with the team as we continue to get ready for conference play and going forward to the next game."
Dabbenigno's goal came just 55 seconds after she entered the match in the first half. After subbing in at 30:06, Dabbenigno took a pass from Kim Miller from 10 yards out and knocked the ball into the back of the net at 31:01. The goal marked the first career points for the redshirt sophomore.
"We knew that it was a game that Dabba could do well in, so we called on her to do what she did," Smith said. "She stepped up and played the role that we knew she could do, and we're excited for her."
Samantha Diaz-Matosas registered her first goal this season in the 53rd minute, assisted by Ashley Kirk and Blakely Mattern. Kirk's corner kick sailed to Mattern in the box, who headed it towards the goal. Diaz-Matosas tapped the ball over the line to notch the goal.
For the second consecutive game, South Carolina held its opponent without a shot in the first half. After holding Friday's opponent Charlotte without a shot for the first 51 minutes of the game, the Paladins did not get an attempt until the 66th minute of play. The shot proved to be the only one that Carolina would allow as the Gamecocks held the overall shot advantage, 11-1. Eight Carolina shots were on goal. USC also held an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks.
"The defense did a good job," Smith said. "We won balls and continued to play today and kept the ball. We did a good job of playing throughout the game and not having letdowns. That's what we talked about in the past and we did a good job to stay focused."
Carolina has steadily improved in action at the Carolinas' Cup, improving from 0-2 in the first tournament (2004) to 1-1 last season to 2-0 this year.
The Gamecocks placed four members on the All-Tournament team, the most of the three times playing this weekend. Carolina's selections were goalkeeper Lindsay Thorstenson, defender Blakely Mattern, midfielder Kim Miller and forward Darcel Mollon. Mollon, Mattern and Miller also made the All-Tournament team last week at the UCF Tournament.
Charlotte defeated Clemson in Sunday's second game, 3-1. Carolina won the tournament with a 2-0 record, Charlotte and Clemson both finished 1-1, and Furman went 0-2.
South Carolina concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule this weekend when they take on Clemson and Marshall. The Gamecocks travel to No. 17 (NSCAA) Clemson Friday at 7:30 p.m. and return home Sunday to compete against Marshall at 1 p.m.
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