Sept. 28, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. - South Carolina took an early two-goal lead but could not overcome a strong second half effort by the home team as Auburn took a 4-2 victory Friday night in front of 1,011 fans at the Auburn Soccer Complex. Danielle Au scored two goals in the opening 20 minutes for South Carolina (3-5-3, 0-3-2 SEC), but the Tigers (6-6-0, 2-3-0 SEC) rebounded with a three-goal second half to take the victory.
Au scored in the second consecutive game after going goalless in the first nine matches of the season. Sophomore Sabrina D'Angelo was credited with three saves in goal.
South Carolina had not allowed four goals in a match since falling to Alabama by a 4-2 score on Sept. 26, 2004. It had also been three seasons since the Gamecocks allowed three goals in an SEC match when No. 10 Florida took a 3-0 victory in Gainesville on Oct. 30, 2009.
The Gamecocks experimented with a new formation Friday night and saw it lead to two quick goals to begin the match. South Carolina's first score came as the result of a steady build-up that begin with a Courtney Angotti-Smith shot that was blocked for a Gamecocks corner kick. Samantha Gonzalez played Abby Sams's corner back to Gilbert near midfield whose service into the area was headed down by Bajema for the clinical finish by Au from 10 yards out at 13:51.
South Carolina doubled it up in the 20th minute with another Au goal off another corner kick opportunity, this time by Andie Romness. Romness's take bobbled in the area with Stevi Parker getting a shot that bounced up and down the crossbar before Taylor Leach's touch was knocked across the line by Au to make it 2-0 South Carolina, giving the Gamecocks two goals for the first time since a 3-0 victory against East Carolina.
Auburn began to push for a goal with Mary Coffed leading the way down the left flank on two near-goals from long range. In the 27th minute, Coffed sent a rocket that sailed just over the crossbar and had another attempt less than a minute later from the same spot that hit the crossbar and bounced back into play. The Tigers would eventually get on the board with a penalty kick opportunity in the 35th minute after an Auburn attacker was taken down in the box. Bianca Sierra took the penalty kick and D'Angelo guessed right but ricocheted the ball into the left post and back into the net for the score.
Both teams continued to press for the final 10 minutes of the first half, but South Carolina went into the break with a 2-1 advantage.
The second half started with quick action with the Tigers testing D'Angelo early for a save before Gamecock Abby Sams nearly makes it 3-1 with a goal courtesy of a Bajema cross that is nullified due to a foul on the play. Auburn would eventually be the team to score the next goal, equalizing the score to 2-2 with a shot from range by Natalie Donaldson.
With the building momentum, Auburn made it three unanswered goals in the 65th minute with a goal by Kala Faulkner from six yards out to make it 3-2 Auburn. The Tigers increased the lead to 4-2 with a long strike from Tatiana Coleman in the 75th.
Raina Johnson helped provide a spark in the final 10 minutes for the Gamecocks and came close to scoring in the 85th minute on two attempts that the Auburn goalkeeper was able to save out the net.
South Carolina travels to Nashville for a Sunday match at Vanderbilt that will be televised live on CSS. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. (ET), and the game will also stream live on ESPN3.com.
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