Oct. 20, 2011
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By Miquel Jacobs
BATON ROUGE, La. - South Carolina (13-5-0, 7-2-0 SEC) scored three goals off of set pieces and got a brace from freshman Ariane Lukens to defeat LSU 4-1 Thursday night in Baton Rouge and stay atop the SEC ladder with two matches remaining.
Lukens scored her first two career goals off two corner kicks, Ellen Fahey added a third off a set piece and Lolly Holland scored on an empty net to lead South Carolina to its biggest win against LSU since the 2005 season. Kayla Grimsley tallied two assists on the night to move her career point total to 113 points - two shy of Jennie Ondo's program record - and freshman Andie Romness assisted on two goals with her set piece kicks. Holland and Fahey also added assists in addition to their goals in Carolina's come from behind victory.
The loss was the first home loss of the season for the Tigers (11-6-1, 6-3-0 SEC) and came on Senior Night in Baton Rouge. It was the worst home loss for LSU since dropping a 3-0 decision in 2005, which also came at the hands of South Carolina. It is the second straight week that the Gamecocks ended an opponent's home unbeaten streak after also handing Mississippi State its first home loss.
Sabrina D'Angelo and Darien Vercillo split time in goal for South Carolina with each getting three saves in the victory. The Gamecocks were using a new backline Thursday with freshman starter Ali Whitney staying home due to an injury, but the backline of Fahey, Romness, Dani Henry and Christa Neary held the Tiger offense in check throughout the night.
The home side got started quickly in earning a free kick just 25 yards out of the Gamecock goal in the opening 30 seconds, but the attempt went high of the net. The Gamecocks earned their own set piece in the fifth minute after a hard tackle on Grimsley, but her service sailed across the mouth of the goal and went out when no player from either team could get a touch on it.
LSU would take the first score of the match in the 18th with a bending strike on a free kick by Boudreau. South Carolina center back Ellen Fahey seemingly had a clean tackle on LSU's Allysha Chapman inches outside the penalty area, but the foul and caution were given to set up the free kick by Boudreau at 17:58.
South Carolina immediately went back on the offensive and earned a corner kick, but Grimsley's shot on the attempt went wide right. Carolina nearly was gifted its first goal in the 30th when Danielle Au's cross went through the goalkeeper's hands and landed in front of Gabrielle Gilbert on an open net, but a Tiger defender was able to poke the ball out before she could get a shot off.
The Gamecocks would get one back in the 35th minute however. Au fed Grimsley a thru ball and the senior sent a shot that beat Isom, but Tiger defender Reyna Lubin chased the slow roller and cleared it off the line and out an inch before crossing for an official goal. Grimsley would take the corner kick that bounced off Ellen Fahey's head before Lukens volleyed it into the back of the net for the 1-1 score.
South Carolina looked to take a 2-1 lead going into the half when Grimsley put a head on Andie Romness's free kick from midfield, but Isom came up big for the save to send the teams into the half scoreless.
Lukens scored her second of the night at 50:54 with a header into the net off of a Romness corner kick for the game-winning goal. Ellen Fahey made it 3-1 at 65:51 for Carolina's third goal of the night on a set piece. Romness sent a free kick just past midfield into the box and Holland headed it up before Fahey jumped and headed it into the net.
Less than 90 seconds later, Holland put her own ball into the net with a pass by Grimsley for an open netter. The Gamecocks were able to go to a deep bench in the final 20 minutes of the match for the biggest win in the series in six years.
South Carolina returns home Sunday afternoon for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The match is the final home game of the 2011 regular season for South Carolina and will serve as Senior Day for Carolina's eight seniors.
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