Oct. 16, 2011
By Miquel Jacobs
OXFORD, Miss. - South Carolina held Ole Miss scoreless in a 3-0 victory Sunday afternoon for the team's fifth straight victory and second consecutive shutout. The win improves South Carolina to 12-5-0 (6-2-0 SEC) while Ole Miss falls to 5-10-1 (1-7-0 SEC).
Kayla Grimsley scored her fifth game-winner of the season with her goal at 29:03 on an assist by Liz Sinclair. Ali Glemser (43:04) and Kortney Rhoades (56:46) added the other two as South Carolina coasted to their fifth straight win against Ole Miss. Grimsley scored both game-winners on the weekend for the Gamecocks who now sit tied for first in the SEC with 18 points.
"I'm very happy with their performance," South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. "It's tough to play on the road in the SEC, and we came out and did what we needed to do. They've taken things we've talked about to prepare for opponents and are really applying it. You're kind of riding that wave of confidence they've created because they've seen what happens when we link together in the offensive third and defend as a team."
The Gamecocks came out firing in a first half that saw South Carolina hold a 10-3 advantage in shots and 7-2 advantage in attempts on frame. Lolly Holland tested Ole Miss freshman keeper Kelly McCormick just two minutes into the fixture with a shot in front of the net that was saved. Danielle Au rifled an attempt from inside the '17 in the sixth minute, but McCormick was again up to task. The Rebel goalkeeper probably had her best save of the half in the 13th minute after Grimsley split a defenders legs at midfield and raced against the sweeper but booming a shot from the top of the '18 that was met by a diving save from McCormick.
The Rebels tested D'Angelo for the first time in the 25th minute, but the freshman came up with the save to keep Ole Miss off the board. Carolina would takes its lead just five minutes later when Grimsley played a ball from Elizabeth Sinclair for a turn-and-shoot at the top of the area at 29:03 for her second goal of the weekend.
South Carolina nearly doubled its lead just 30 seconds later when Au took it down the left side and drilled a shot, but the keeper made the save. The Gamecocks would be more fortunate in the 40th minute after converting on a scrum in front of the net following an Andie Romness corner kick. Romness's kick was batted around the goal with freshman Ariane Lukens getting a touch that McCormick deflected straight to Glemser for the one-touch goal at 43:04.
"To create those chances we had in the final third and then finish to put ourselves up in the first half makes a huge difference," Smith said. "It takes a lot of pressure off in the game to find that first goal. Kayla's goal was huge for us. Everyone played a huge part today. Danielle Au had a great game for us, and Kortney Rhoades in the middle had a great goal. A lot of things went well today. Ole Miss played a hard 90 minutes, and that's what you're going to get when you play an SEC opponent. You have to be able to battle that, and we did today."
The second half saw the Gamecocks put together two strong efforts in the opening 12 minutes of the period with Au's header in the 50th getting saved before Rhoades scored the third goal of the day at 56:46. Maria Petroni sent a ball into the box for Rhoades that she volleyed into the back of the net to give the Gamecocks the three-goal advantage.
Less than a minute later, Rhoades found herself 25 yards out of the net and her strike clanged off the crossbar. Sophomore goalkeeper Darien Vercillo was sent into the match with 20 minutes remaining for her first game action since Charlotte. The Gamecocks coasted to the final whistle and used their deep bench en route to an 18-7 advantage in shots (11-4 shots on goal).
South Carolina continues its trek away from home with a Thursday night clash at No. 18 LSU. Kickoff between the Gamecocks and Tigers is scheduled for 8 p.m (ET).
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