SEC Soccer Today: September 30 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Soccer Today: September 30

    South Carolina 1, Vanderbilt 1
    Florida 4, Arkansas 0
    Tennessee 1, Missouri 0
    Alabama 2, Kentucky 1
    Auburn 1, Ole Miss
    Texas A&M 2, Mississippi State 0
    LSU 2, Georgia 2

    Gilbert Scores First Goal of Season In 1-1 Draw at Vanderbilt

    NASHVILLE – Junior Gabrielle Gilbert scored her first goal of the season as South Carolina and Vanderbilt played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw Sunday afternoon at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex. The Gamecocks move to 3-5-4 (0-3-3 SEC) on the year while Vanderbilt’s record goes to 4-4-5 (1-1-4 SEC).

    The match was the third draw in five tries in Nashville with the Gamecocks and Commodores tying in 2004 and 2010 before Sunday’s 1-1 final. It was the sixth overtime match through 12 games in the 2012 season, matching a program record for most extra time games in a season.

    The Gamecock backline of Christa Neary, Andie Romness, Dani Henry and Taylor Leach limited the Commodores to only five shots in the game and one shot on goal in 110 minutes of action. South Carolina ended the game with an 18-5 advantage in shots, 9-1 advantage in shots on goal and 8-3 advantage in corner kicks.

    “I’m proud of them and at the same time I feel badly because they deserved a result today,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “They came back from a game that they were truly disappointed in Friday nigh and really brought everything out here. We played probably our best game of the season as far as consistent performance, and they battled to give themselves good chances. Somehow we give up one goal and it’s truly disappointing but it’s a step in the right direction for us. The effort was there. We’re very proud and we’ll take this and move forward. It’s not what we want, but it’s a positive with how we were able to move forward from a disappointing Friday night.”

    Gilbert scored her first goal of the season at 12:27 on a header off a corner kick, and Vanderbilt’s Brittney Thomas equalized in the 84th minute to cap the scoring.

    “I give them a lot of credit to continue to play and to give themselves chances to win,” Smith said. “To give up a goal in the last few minutes of a game, it can knock teams down and turn momentum. They didn’t let that happen. They came back out and gave themselves a chance to win in overtime. I’m proud of the way we left everything on the field.”

    With three goals in the past two matches, Danielle Au had the first look on frame in the 11th with a perfectly placed shot from range that forced a diving save by Vanderbilt goalkeeper Alexa Levick for a corner kick. Christa Neary’s header off the first attempt went wide of the frame, but the Gamecocks would eventually get the score at 12:27 when Gilbert headed in Andie Romness’s set piece to break open the game.

    The score was the third consecutive South Carolina goal from a corner kick after both scores in Friday’s match at Auburn were also scored from Romness corners. Gilbert’s header also continued her trend of scoring goals in matches televised by CSS after knocking home the game-winning header in South Carolina’s last appearance on the network in 2011. The junior has thrived in the spotlight with six of her career 15 points coming in televised matches.

    Despite playing a grueling 90 minute match at Auburn Friday night, the Gamecocks did not make their first substitution until Raina Johnson entered the match in the 35th minute, and the freshman nearly was the catalyst for a second goal with a service that Coryn Bajema tagged in front of the net for a shot that Levick saved. The Gamecocks ended the first half with a commanding 9-1 edge in shots and 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.

    With only one change at the break, the Gamecocks continued to play a possession games against the Commodores and had the first shot of the half with a Caroline Gray attempt that went wide of the net. Gilbert found a look in the 56th that rolled towards Levick after a touch by a defender prevented a chance of her second goal of the day. Bajema made her attempt at adding to the score in the 78th with a header within six yards that the goalkeeper was able to grab.  

    The Commodores would end up being the team to add the late tally with Brittney Thomas equalizing in the 84th minute to send the game to overtime. In extra time, the Gamecocks nearly ended it in the 99th minute with a shot by Caroline Gray that hit the crossbar and bounced up and down before Bajema put a head on it that Levick was able to save.

    South Carolina pushed hard, early and often in the second overtime for the golden goal with Christa Neary’s free kick in the 102nd tip-saved over the bar by Levick and Danielle Au’s attempt in the box also saved.


    No. 24 Gator Soccer Shutouts Arkansas 4-0

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Sunday success for the No. 24 Florida Gator soccer team (8-3-1, 5-1 SEC) continued today with a 4-0 shutout over the Arkansas Razorbacks (5-6-1, 2-3-1 SEC) on a sunny Sunday afternoon at James G. Pressly Stadium. The Gators are 6-0 on Sundays this season and have also outscored opponents 19-6 in those Sunday contests.

    The Gators’ defense limited the Razorbacks’ offensive attack to only five shots for the match, which were all taken in the second half. The Gators took six shots in the first half with three of them resulting in goals, each from a different player.

    The Gators first goal started when Havana Solaun played the ball out wide right to Maggie Rodgers. Rodgers then dribbled the ball up before passing it off to Annie Speese in the middle of Arkansas territory. Speese then split a pair of Arkansas defenders to find open space in order to strike the ball in low from 18 yards out to the far right post at 16:25.

    “Maggie brought it up the field on the right side and the last couple games that ball at the top of the box has been open because when they drive down the line, the defenders are just going straight back,” Speese said. “Maggie saw me, played me the ball and I just made the touch wide and played it back post because I saw the keeper moving to the near post.”

    A midfield free kick led to the Gators second goal at 28:47 in the first half. Christen Westphal launched the ball up to Holly King who was able to head the ball into the far left post just off Arkansas goalkeeper Sam Wolf’s finger tips. This was King’s second consecutive Sunday scoring off a header and fourth consecutive Sunday scoring from a set piece.

    “I just started back post and followed my marker in and then cut in front of her to get it,” King said. “Practicing that during practice has helped a lot especially with Christen serving it from midfield and she placed a great ball so it was a great service."

    On the Gators’ third goal, defender Annie Bobbitt dribbled the ball up to midfield before playing a through ball to an open McKenzie Barney who then struck the ball low into the back left post at 36:24. Barney is now the seventh Gator to score 30 goals in her Gator career.

    “Annie Bobbitt played an amazing ball,” Barney said. “I made a run through there and the defense didn’t see me, but it takes a great ball to slice the defense like that. I took a touch toward the goal and saw the keeper was on her line so I kept dribbling at her and just finished it. Give credit to Annie for finding me on that.”

    After a decisive first half, the Gators couldn’t sink any of their nine shots into the net. At almost the end of the match, the Gators were given a penalty kick opportunity after an Arkansas defender’s handball at the top of the box. Tatiana Perez placed the penalty kick into the back right post with only 31 seconds remaining on the clock, which secured the 4-0 victory over the Razorbacks.

    It was the second consecutive Sunday to feature a penalty kick that gave a Gator her first career goal as Jo Dragotta turned in her first score against Georgia.

    “It took a little bit for me to mentally handle the PK, but I was in there with the chance to take the PK so I took it. It had good placement and it is just great to have the first goal of my career,” Perez said. “I practice to get a chance on the field and I got on the field and had the chance to add one for my team. It just feels great that I was able to contribute.”

    Florida Head Coach Becky Burleigh said she was pleased with the team’s performance in the first half but a little disappointed that they weren’t able to score more in the second half. She said scoring early has become a trend for the team, which takes pressure off and allows them to play with more freedom. After four consecutive home wins, Burleigh said the Gators are looking toward the challenges they face next week as they hit the road again to face LSU and No. 6 Texas A&M next Friday and Sunday, respectively.

    “We have a big weekend next weekend,” Burleigh said. “Every weekend in the SEC we want to earn six points, so getting on the road again will be a new challenge and the same for getting this early lead and keeping it rolling.”

    Senior All-American Erika Tymrak was absent for a third straight game after spraining her ankle during the Gators’ Sept. 21 win over Tennessee. Burleigh said her status is still day-to-day.

    Florida finishes September with a five-match winning streak, all wins over SEC opponents.



    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Junior Tori Bailey scored from six yards out in the 58th minute and the Lady Vols’ defense stepped up in another physical SEC bout to give the Tennessee soccer team a 1-0 victory over No. 11 Missouri on Sunday at Regal Soccer Stadium.

    Tennessee (8-3-2, 3-2-1 SEC) bounced back from a 1-0 home loss to Arkansas on Friday night with a hard-nosed effort Sunday afternoon.  The Lady Vols handed Mizzou (10-2-0, 5-1-0 SEC) its first conference loss in its inaugural season in the SEC.

    "This win says a lot about our kids,” UT head coach Brian Pensky said. “It says a lot about our team's character and our team's fight. I don't want to sound like that clich├ę, cheesy guy but I tell you what, we were tested. We were tested over the weekend. It stunk to have to wait from Friday night and the bad taste we all had in our mouths from Friday night, but our courage, mentality, and our physical fight was tested.”

    After a physical first half that saw two yellow cards issued to the Tigers and one to the UT bench, Tennessee came out of the locker room with even more tenacity in the second half.

    In the 58th minute, junior Caroline Brown sent a ball forward for sophomore Hannah Wilkinson in the top right corner of the box. Wilkinson pushed the ball to the right corner of the field then changed direction towards the goal before sending a cross into the center. Bailey tapped the ball in with a top of her foot to send it trickling into the lower right side of the goal past Mizzou goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein.

    “We focus so much on being good at soccer and possessing,” Pensky said. “But college soccer is sometimes a fight. It's a battle, a scrap, a claw and things like that. I think that as a result sometimes we play as if we are focused on being good at soccer, rather than preparing to battle. I think that starts with me and it's something we talked about coming into today. I think without a doubt our kids did a great job, and then I'm happy for Tori scoring that great goal.”

    The stats for the game echo how close it was. Missouri had the 11-10 edge on shots and had 14 fouls to UT’s 13. Missouri also had five corner kicks to Tennessee’s four.

    Tennessee goalkeeper Julie Eckel (8-3-2) made two saves and posted her fifth complete shutout of the season. Bailey and Iyana Moore each had two shots.

    Missouri’s Abi Raymer totaled four shots to lead the Tigers and Sauerwein (10-2-0) made one save in the loss.


    Rijsdijk Downs Kentucky with Overtime Game Winner

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Alabama sophomore Pia Rijsdijk  scored three minutes into overtime to lift the Crimson Tide to a thrilling 2-1 victory over Kentucky, Sunday afternoon at the UK Soccer Complex. With the win, Alabama improves to 7-3-2 overall and 2-2-2 in Southeastern Conference play.

    The Dutch connection secured the undefeated weekend and first overtime victory for the Tide this season as Rijsdijk scored her fifth goal on the season and second game-winner. For the second time in the match freshman Merel Van Dongen setup the goal, this time finding her Dutch teammate inside the penalty area for the decisive tally.

    Alabama sophomore Theresa Diederich scored for the sixth time this season when she opened the match with a goal in the 40th minute. Diederich cleaned up a loose ball in the box on a corner kick by Van Dongen.

    Kentucky evened the score at one in the 54th minute when Cara Ledman buried a Courtney Raetzman pass for her third goal on the season.

    The overtime match was the fourth for Alabama in SEC play and its fourth in its last six games as the Tide came off a double overtime draw at Vanderbilt on Friday night.

    Alabama outshot Kentucky, 13-5, including an 8-4 advantage in the second half and a 2-0 margin in overtime. Rijsdijk, Diederich, Molly Atherton and Ashley Willis each recorded two shots apiece.


    Coleman Nets Lone Goal In 1-0 Blanking Of Ole Miss

    AUBURN, Ala. – Tatiana Coleman fired off a match-high six shots but it was her final one that was the difference as the Auburn soccer team blanked the Southeastern Conference’s highest scoring team in a 1-0 victory on Sunday. The win moved Auburn’s record to 7-6-0, 3-3-0 SEC while Ole Miss dropped to 9-4-0, 2-4-0 SEC.

    “This game was critical,” Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. “This is the best Ole Miss team we have seen in a while. Coach (Matt) Mott has them going in the right direction. They are a great team and that makes this an incredible result for us. This helps us in the SEC standings and it helps us in the overall standings. We are back to having a winning record, which is critical for post-season concerns.”

    Coleman, who has scored in each of the last three games she has played in, looked to have the upper-hand on Ole Miss goalkeeper Kelly McCormick in the 75th minute but the Ole Miss keeper came off her line to challenge Coleman 1v1 and won. Coleman came right back with her third shot in a 67-second span and finally beat McCormick, slotting one between the diving goalkeeper’s arms and the post for her fourth goal of the season for the game’s only goal.

    “In soccer you get a lot of chances where you don’t score. (Tatiana) had a really good look just a minute before. You have to have a short memory with things like that and she did. We felt like it was coming and that was a great finish,” Hoppa said.

    “This is a quality (Ole Miss) team and I knew I wasn’t going to get many chances. I just stuck with it and was patient with it,” Coleman said. “I knew I was going to get one sooner or later so I tried to erase (the earlier save) from my mind immediately.”

    Auburn goalkeeper Amy Howard played a vital role in the win, making six saves as Ole Miss ripped off 16 total shots. The shutout was her third of the season and her first against a SEC opponent this season. It was also the 18th of her career.

    “Amy Howard led our defense today with Mary Nicholson going down (with an injury in the first half) and us having to sub in a freshman (Sophie Simantel),” Hoppa said. “Amy made at least two big saves that kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win. To get a shutout against one of the best three-fronts we have seen all year is really a fantastic performance by her.”


    Aggies Rain on Mississippi State Parade with 2-0 Win

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – The No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies scored a pair of goals early in the match and hydroplaned to a 2-0 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on a rain saturated pitch at MSU Soccer Field on Sunday afternoon.

    Texas A&M improved to 11-1-1 overall and 5-0-1 in SEC play. With a loss by the Missouri Tigers (1-0 vs. Tennessee) on Sunday, Texas A&M became the last unbeaten team in league play. The Aggies own a seven-point lead over Auburn in the SEC Western Division standings and a one-point lead over Florida and Missouri in the overall SEC standings.

    The Aggies pounced on the Bulldogs early, notching the first goal in the fifth minute of action. Jayne Eadie lined up a free kick from 22 yards out and launched a missile goalward. The ball ripped through the MSU wall 10 yards away deflecting off a Mississippi State defender and past the Bulldogs’ goalkeeper for the goal, staking A&M to a 1-0 lead. It marked the first career collegiate goal for Eadie and the sixth consecutive game that the Aggies have converted on a set piece for a goal.

    The Maroon and White tacked on another goal early in the 12th minute. Annie Kunz collected the ball near the arc of the penalty box and approached goal. From 15 yards out, she distributed the ball to Allie Bailey on the right side of the goal area. Bailey one-timed a pass to Shea Groom standing unmarked five yards in front of the goal and she sent it back to the near post for the 2-0 lead with 78:57 remaining in the contest.

    Texas A&M dictated play throughout the game with a 26-15 advantage in shots for the game, including 16-5 in the first half. The Aggies also owned a 9-5 edge in shots on goal and an 8-2 edge in corner kicks while nearly two inches of rain fell in Starkville.

    The Aggies threatened to add to the lead on multiple occasions in the second half, but to no avail. In the 55th minute, Bailey had a one-on-one opportunity against the Bulldogs’ keeper. She launched a shot from 10 yards out but a diving Skylar Rosson was able to get a paw on it to prevent the goal. Eadie hit a free kick form 40 yards out that Rosson had to punch over the crossbar in the 66th minute. Eadie sent in a menacing shot from 25 yards out that sailed two feet over the crossbar in the 75th minute. Lyndsey Gnatzig made the final threat in the 82nd minute, hitting a shot from 35 yards out that Rosson also punched over the crossbar.

    Mississippi State’s best chance to score came with 3:30 remaining in the second half. Jasmine Simmons ripped a shot from the right corner of the goal area, but Aggies’ netminder Jordan Day was up to the task knocking the ball out of bounds for a Bulldogs’ corner kick.

    Day tallied her ninth shutout of the season and the 18th of her career. She made five saves on the afternoon.

    Mississippi State fell to 7-5-1 overall and 0-5-1 in the SEC.


    Locandro Scores Twice, Bulldogs Tie LSU

    ATHENS, Ga. ---The Georgia soccer team played another wild one on Sunday afternoon, firing a season-high 35 shots in Sunday afternoon’s 2-2 tie with LSU at the UGA Soccer Stadium in front of an ESPNU national audience.

    The Bulldogs and Tigers battled steady rains throughout the afternoon, which picked up toward the end of the match before ending knotted at 2-2. Georgia moves to 5-6-2 on the season and 1-3-2 in conference play, while LSU is now 5-4-4 (1-3-2).

    The Bulldogs got both goals from junior midfielder Nicole Locandro – her first two of the season – in a two-minute span in the second half to go up 2-1, before LSU responded with the equalizer in the 84th minute. Neither team could mount the game-winner in 20 minutes of extra time.

    The Bulldogs also had two goals brought back due to offsides calls in the second half.

    “Another crazy SEC game,” said head coach Steve Holeman. “Give LSU credit – they took the lead, then we came back, then they equalized. We took 35 shots today. We have some winnable games ahead of us, and I think we’ve proven this weekend that we’re a pretty good team. We just need to go out and get some wins.”

    Georgia immediately showed it was the stronger offensive side right out of the gate, and though the teams ended the first half scoreless, the Bulldogs led in the shot column 10-3 through the first 45:00.

    Despite the Bulldogs owning the momentum, it was the Tigers who broke through first, as LSU’s Alex Arlitt got her team on the board in the 57th minute when she took a pass from Colby Maffei from the left side and fired it past keeper Ashley Baker for the 1-0 lead.

    Georgia nearly had the tying goal minutes later when Carli Shultis’ shot was blocked to set up Tori Cooper for the rebound, but Cooper was called offside after tapping it in past LSU netminder Megan Kinneman and the visitors would hold onto their lead.

    With 25 minutes showing in the second half the Bulldogs turned on the jets, firing Kinneman with shots from all over the final third from all of their personnel, but the keeper answered the call.

    Then with 17:30 to play in the second, Chika Ibiam appeared to again have found the equalizer for Georgia as she converted on a dish from Cooper in front, but she too was barely flagged for offsides to cancel it out.

    But Locandro’s goal in the 79th minute would stand, as the junior had just moved positions to the attack and followed up on a Shultis missed shot, putting in the rebound for her first of the season to make it 1-1.

    Then just over two minutes later, Shultis was taken down in the box to give Georgia the penalty kick and a chance at the go-ahead with under 10 left, and Locandro sent it in past Kinneman to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the day.

    But LSU wasn’t finished, and with just over six minutes on the clock Maffei fired a shot past Baker after two other LSU shots were blocked, finishing on the scramble in front to even it once again at 2-2.

    The Bulldogs and Tigers were then bound for overtime, where with 6:30 to go in the first Locandro had a chance saved after she received a set-up from Liliana Rios. With four remaining, Susannah Dennis was fed by Locandro, and Dennis’ shot on the breakaway on the left side hit the side panel of the net for a Tiger goal kick.

    In the second overtime, LSU managed three shots before the Bulldogs had their best opportunity when Bella Hartley’s long-range look with 20 seconds to go sailed wide, and the teams finished tied at 2-2 to pick up one point apiece in the SEC standings.

    Today’s 35-shot offensive showing marked Georgia’s most of the season, while that is the most in an SEC game for the Bulldogs since firing 42 on Oct. 7, 2011 vs. Mississippi State.

    Cooper’s 11 shots today was a new career-best for the sophomore. Shots finished 35-17 in favor of the Bulldogs, with Georgia taking eight corners to LSU’s three.