South Carolina Falls to No. 22 Florida, 2-0, in Regular Season Finale
Nov. 2, 2007
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The South Carolina women's soccer team dropped a 2-0 decision to No. 22 Florida Friday night at James G. Pressley Stadium in the regular season finale for the Gamecocks. The Gamecocks wore black armbands in the game in remembrance of the seven victims in the North Carolina beach house fire.
With the loss, the Gamecocks drop to 13-5-2 overall and 5-4-2 in Southeastern Conference action. Florida improves to 12-4-2 overall and 8-2-0 in SEC action after beginning conference play with two losses. The match marks the first time this season that South Carolina lost by more than one goal and is only the third time this season that Carolina was shutout.
Melanie Booth scored the game-winning goal in the 28th minute for Florida. Ashlee Elliott added the final score in the second half.
Despite giving up the first half goal, it was Carolina that had the early opportunities in the match. Kimmy Gillespie's shot off a corner kick in the sixth minute went dead center but was saved by the goalkeeper, and seven minutes later Mary Worthen took a ball in the box for a 1v1 but lost footing on the damp field and couldn't get off a strong shot.
Florida began to take possession afterwards and took a great look in the 23rd minute when KeLeigh Hudson broke the defense for a shot that hit the right post. Brittiny Rhoades cleared the rebound to end the threat but the Gators eventually scored the goal at 27:51 off a Stacy Bishop free kick from 23-yards out that deflected off a Gamecock head in the middle of a pile and sailed into the top left corner of the net.
The goal was only the third given up by the Gamecocks in the first half of a game this season.
Darcel Mollon gave Carolina its next best opportunity in the 38th minute when she took the ball in the open field but her shot was saved. Minutes later Florida had an open cross that landed in front of the goal but was headed out by Rhoades to end the threat.
With less than a minute remaining in the first half, Carolina threatened to even the score with two corner kicks by Rhoades. The first was cleared by the Florida defense but resulted in another corner kick. The second, taken with 10 seconds remaining in the half, was placed perfectly in front of the goal and bounced around the Gamecock attackers but the clock saved the Gators before Gillespie could get off a final shot.
The teams both ended the first period with four shots and Florida recorded three saves to Carolina's one.
Carolina saw itself in the unusual position of being on the defensive throughout the second half as the Gators outshot Carolina 8-0 in the second period. The game marks the first time all season that Carolina was held without a shot in a half this season.
Florida recorded the insurance goal at 79:26 on a shot from Elliott. South Carolina recorded a 4-2 edge in corner kicks and goalkeeper Lindsay Thorstenson recorded four saves in the effort.
South Carolina is next in action when they travel to Orange Beach, Ala., to participate in the SEC Tournament. Held at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex, the tournament will be held from Wednesday, Nov. 7 to Sunday, Nov. 11. The championship game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net. Carolina's opponent will be decided at the conclusion of Friday's conference matches.