Oct. 19, 2007
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Erin Sullivan and Danila Monteiro both recorded their sixth goals of the season as the South Carolina women's soccer team shutout Alabama 2-0 Friday night at Stone Stadium. The shutout is the SEC-leading ninth of the season for the Gamecocks, matching a season-best total achieved in the 2002 and 2006 seasons.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 11-4-1 overall and even at 3-3-1 in conference play. The loss drops the Tide to 9-6-1 overall and 2-4-1 in SEC action. Laura Armstrong collected three saves to record the win between the posts and improved to 4-1-0 on the season. All four of her victories have been shutouts.
"I'm proud of the team effort," head coach Shelley Smith said. "Obviously without Darcel (Mollon) playing, we asked for players to step in with a few more minutes. We weren't concerned because we've had players step up for us before. Our depth showed and they focused tonight to do what they needed to do. It was a great team effort and a lot of players were called upon."
Playing without leading scorer Darcel Mollon, who sat out the game after receiving two yellow cards in Carolina's last match, the Gamecocks wasted no time attacking the Alabama defense with Mary Worthen filling in on the right side of the field. Monteiro played a ball to Worthen in the fifth minute of the match, but the header hit the right post to prevent Carolina from matching its early scores in last Sunday's victory at Ole Miss. Worthen received another look in the 14th minute with a sliding shot eight yards out that was saved by goalkeeper Justine Bernier.
It wasn't until Monica Hogan centered a ball in front of the goal that the Gamecocks were able to hit the board. Sullivan placed the ball into the left corner of the net at 40:18 to put Carolina ahead before heading into the half. The assist was the third of the season for Hogan.
Monteiro added the insurance goal at 85:06, one minute after re-entering the game to help hold the lead. Worthen took the ball in the Alabama third of the field and she and Monteiro passed the ball back and forth as they advanced to the box before Monteiro took the shot that found the right side of the net. The assist was Worthen's second in Carolina's past five games.
"We were coming off of a disappointing game the last time we were on this field," Smith said. "We needed to come out hard and make sure we didn't repeat it. We did a good job and came out how we needed to play. We've been able to finish our chances the last couple of games which is big because it shows how people have stepped up for us."
South Carolina held a 17-7 shot advantage, including a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal. Five Gamecocks had three shots each, led by Brittiny Rhoades who had all three of her attempts go on goal. The Gamecocks attempted three corner kicks and prevented the Crimson Tide from attempting a corner kick. Alabama registered 20 fouls to Carolina's 14. Bernier colleted eight saves for Alabama.
South Carolina takes on SEC West leader Auburn Sunday at Stone Stadium. The Tigers (9-4-1) dropped a 2-0 decision to Florida Friday night and carry a 5-2-0 record in conference play. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and all fans will be admitted for $1 as a part of Family Fun Day.
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