Oct. 2, 2011
By Miquel Jacobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina scored two goals in the first five minutes of the match and added another in the closing minutes to shutout Vanderbilt 3-0 Sunday afternoon in front of a nationally televised audience. Seniors Maria Petroni and Lolly Holland scored goals two minutes apart for the Gamecocks before Kayla Grimsley iced it with a goal in the 86th minute to improve South Carolina to 8-5-0 (2-2-0 SEC). Vanderbilt falls to 6-6-0 (0-4-0 SEC).
Petroni's scored a header off an Ali Whitney corner kick at 2:04 for the game-winning goal in what was the fifth-fastest goal in Gamecock history. Two minutes later, Holland scored off a header from Kortney Rhoades's service at 4:05 to put the game away just after kickoff. Holland added her third point of the day with an assist on Grimsley's goal at 85:34 as South Carolina rebounds from its first losing streak since the 2009 season.
"I'm very proud of the team and how they responded after Friday's disappointment," South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. "To come out and put a team away early made a huge difference. I'm very proud of the effort and it was a relief to score those goals early."
Freshman Sabrina D'Angelo earned the shutout in goal with three saves, including a stellar tip-save over the bar in the 42nd minute. It was her first shutout in SEC play and her second solo shutout of the season.
After going 1-13-2 in the first 16 years of the rivalry against the Commodores, South Carolina is now unbeaten in its last three against Vanderbilt and won its second straight at Stone Stadium against their SEC East counterparts. At a 2-2-0 record in the SEC, the Gamecocks sit in a five-way tie for fourth in the conference standings after two weeks of play.
The Gamecocks got off to a quick start against Vanderbilt freshman keeper Alexa Levick who made her return Friday night after missing time with a concussion. The Commodores made a change in the 23rd minute to junior Jessica Amlaw but it didn't change Carolina's pace as the Gamecocks continued to pressure the Commodore backline. Grimsley and Rhoades nearly connected in the 33rd minute when Rhoades sent a thru ball between a defenders legs, but Amlaw was able to rush out and save the one-touch by Grimsley.
Vanderbilt came close to scoring on D'Angelo at the start of the second half when Gena Inbusch found herself with a shot dead to rights from inside the keepers box, but she sent it over the goal in Vanderbilt's last great opportunity for a score. The Gamecock backline of Ellen Fahey, Dani Henry, Andie Romness and Ali Whitney limited the Commodores to only three shots on goal just two nights after limiting Kentucky to only four on frame.
The Gamecocks were awarded a penalty kick in the 66th minute when sophomore Gabrielle Gilbert was taken down in the box. Rhoades lined up for the shot but her attempt was saved by Amlaw to keep the Gamecocks off the board before Grimsley dribbled from the top of the '18 and beat the keeper for the final tally.
South Carolina continues its four-match homestand next week when it welcomes Alabama and Auburn to Stone Stadium.
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