|Florida 3, South Carolina 0
|Kentucky 3, Vanderbilt 0
|Tennessee 3, Georgia 2
|Auburn 4, Alabama 3
|Texas A&M 2, Missouri 1
|Mississippi State 3, Ole Miss 2
|LSU 3, Arkansas 2
Southeastern Conference soccer title goes to No. 11 Gators after 3-0 win at South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A second-half three-goal outburst returned the Southeastern Conference title to the University of Florida as the No. 11 Gators (14-4-1, 11-2 SEC) claimed a 3-0 win Thursday at South Carolina’s (6-9-4, 3-7-3 SEC) Eugene E. Stone III Stadium. It is the 12th title in the 18-year history of the Florida soccer program, a total which leads the league.
Florida entered Thursday’s final match of the SEC regular-season as the league leader but the Gators needed a win to ensure sole possession of the 2012 title. Teams receive three points for a win and one for a tie toward the league standings. Florida entered Thursday’s match with 30 points while Texas A&M was just two points behind. The three points earned put Florida on top with 33 points while Texas A&M finished second with 31 points after its 2-1 overtime win over Missouri Thursday.
After a patient and scoreless first half Thursday, the Gators came out focused on the attack.
A give-and-go play gave the Gators their first goal. Junior Adriana Leon, on the right side the box, sent the ball to senior Erika Tymrak at the middle of the 18-yard line. Tymrak immediately touched it back to Leon as she continued her diagonal run through the box. Leon took a touch and then sent in her fourth goal of the season at 64:15.
“I don’t remember too much. I remember getting the ball back and I was just carrying it toward the goal,” Leon said. “I shot it with my left foot into the left corner and it went into the net.”
Although Leon may be a bit foggy on exactly how the goal materialized, it is yet another memorable game-winning goal for the transfer from Notre Dame. Her first goal as a Gator was the overtime winner at Auburn. She also scored the game-winner at then No. 5 Texas A&M. Thursday’s goal was her fourth of the season.
The Gators scored again on a play that started with a cross deep in the Gamecock half from Taylor Travis. The ball was deflected high up in the air by USC goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo. That is when Havana Solaun made a play which fellow sophomore Annie Speese credited as a key component of the goal.
“The ball got played across by Taylor (Travis). It got popped up and the keeper went up for it but Havana did a great job challenging her. She did it without fouling the keeper, which is really hard to do. So she gets full credit,” Speese said. “I just got the rebound and volleyed it in. I just hit it hard because I knew that it wasn’t about placement there.”
Her left-footed volley in the 73rd minute was the first of a pair of goals for the sophomore. Speese scored again in the 87th minute on a play she and Tessa Andujar have been looking to develop all season.
“I’m really excited about the second one because Tessa and I finally connected on that cross. We’ve been talking about it all season. She always does a great job of driving down the end line and getting herself in a position to cross. She usually drives it across but I’ve been telling her I’m going to pop out like that because the backline is going to be dropping. So this time she found me and it went in.”
The two goals ups Speese’s season goals total to five. It was her first double-goal match of the season and the fourth of her career. She is the third Gator to turn in a double-goal match in 2012, joining Solaun (versus Florida International) and senior Jo Dragotta (versus Mississippi State).
There was plenty for this edition of the Gators to overcome during their hunt for the 2012 SEC crown. Senior All-American Kathryn Williamson, a two-time All-SEC first team selection at center back and the 2010 SEC Defender of the Year, was sidelined after the fifth match with a knee injury. Tymrak, Florida’s other All-American, missed three league matches after spraining an ankle versus Tennessee. Sophomore Annie Bobbitt, who had taken Williamson’s spot after her injury, also suffered a knee injury last Friday at Alabama and has been out of the lineup since. But the Gators still found a way to still rack up wins in 11 of the league’s 13-match schedule.
“I think our team showed a lot of resilience in this 13-game schedule. But ultimately I think this team really showed a lot of character in our ability to overcome the adversity we faced. Whatever it was, we dealt with it. Our depth really helped in that situation,” UF Head Coach Becky Burleigh said.
“I’m really proud of this senior group,” she continued. “They put winning the SEC as one of their big goals and they just willed us back to winning the SEC.”
Florida now advances to the SEC Tournament as the No. 1 seed. With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the league, the SEC Tournament expanded to 10 teams. All action at the 2012 SEC Tournament will be available via web stream. The SEC Digital Network will live stream Monday and Wednesday matches and Friday’s semifinal matches will appear on ESPN3. ESPNU will cover the SEC Championship match.
Kentucky Women’s Soccer Shuts Out Vanderbilt 3-0 for Fifth-Straight Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After a scoreless opening half, the University of Kentucky women’s soccer team (13-5-1, 8-4-1 SEC) scored three goals in the second stanza to run past the Vanderbilt Commodores 3-0 on Senior Night at the UK Soccer Complex. The Wildcats closed out the regular season on a five-match winning streak and will play the Missouri Tigers in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Wednesday night.
“Obviously, it’s nice to win on senior night,” UK head coach Jon Lipsitz said. “Sometimes emotions get the best of you and we had to just keep playing. We talked at halftime about being more aggressive and getting to goal. I thought we weresort of content to just play in the first half. Most of that was because of the challenges that Vandy was presenting. We knew it was going to be a very difficult game, and if you look at the stats, it was probably the most evengame we have had in a while.”
Sophomore Caitlin Landis scored two goals in the game, the second and third goals of the season for the New Columbia, Pa., native. Both of Landis’ goals were rebound put-backs coming just 2:28 apart, and giving Kentucky the lead early in thesecond half. On the first goal, Natalie Horner took a long-range shot from far out, with the keeper needing to come to the top of the box to secure the save. The rebound went out of the keeper’s reach and was punched home by Landis to secure the opening goal of the game.
For her second goal of the game, sophomore Arin Gilliland took a long shot, and the keeper made a diving effort, but the rebound found the boot of Landis who throttled it into the near-side netting to record the goal. The goal was Landis’ third of the season, tallying four points on the night to bring her season total to 12 on the year.
Freshman Kennedy Collier scored her first-career goal, and point with the exclamation mark on the night, as a long-range shot found the back of the net, sailing past keeper Shannon Morris for the 3-0 lead. Collier played 43 minutes on the pitch and had three shots on the night. The three goals on the night was the highest-offensive output for UK since Sept. 16 when UK defeated MississippiState 3-0 in the opening weekend of SEC play.
With the win coupled with a Mizzou loss, UK clinched the four seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament next week in Orange Beach, Ala. The Wildcats will take on the Missouri Tigers in the quarterfinals, regardless of seeding. The Tigers and Wildcats met back on Oct. 5 in Columbia, Mo., and the Tigers took the 2-1 overtime win. The game will be at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday night.
With the shutout, goalkeeper Kayla King has now recorded shutouts in four of thelast five games, only allowing one goal in over 420 minutes of play. King, with the win, improves to 12-2-0 in 2012.
Kentucky finishes the regular season with an overall mark of 13-5-1 and 8-4-1 in SECplay. It is the first time since the 1999 season that UK has recorded eightconference wins. The back-to-back 13-win seasons are the first time since 1990-2000 that Kentucky has won 13 or more games in seasons.
The 3-0 result was Kentucky’s ninth win in 11 tries at home, closing out the season with a 9-1-1 record including wins over No. 13 Florida and a draw with No. 6 Texas A&M.
Owens, Seniors Shine as Tennessee Beats Georgia, 3-2
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- With the Georgia soccer team playing for its SEC Tournament life, No. 23 Tennessee needed to have a fierce effort and big-time play from its veteran core on Thursday night. Alexis Owens scored the match-winner in the 84th minute off passes from fellow seniors Amy Harrison and Kylie Bono and the Lady Vols edged the Bulldogs, 3-2, while giving the Rocky Top faithful a Senior Night for the ages.
“This is a little bit of a microcosm of our season, dealing with some bumps,” Tennessee head coach Brian Pensky said. “We had a tough tie against Vanderbilt. We had an upsetting loss at home against Arkansas. We had an upsetting loss at home against Kentucky. But every time we bounced back. Here we are, outshooting Georgia 21-5 and in a moment, all of a sudden, we’re fighting for our lives with 10 minutes left. Then it was senior-to-senior-to-senior. Amy with a ball over the top into Bono, Bono served it into Alexis and the Alexis with a big-time finish. Nobody is happier for that group than we are.”
Tennessee (14-4-2, 9-3-1 SEC) had just watched a 2-1 advantage turn into a knotted match when Georgia (7-11-2, 3-8-2 SEC) scored in the 80th minute off a header from Susannah Dennis with assists from Madeline Barker and Nicole Locandro.
The UT senior leadership would not let this match go into overtime. In the 84th minute, Harrison played a ball into the box for Bono. Bono graced the back line and sent a cross over to Owens for the header score up the middle from three years out.
The Lady Vols and Bulldogs were knotted at 1-1 at the half. UT's Hannah Wilkinson scored in the 17th minute off a beautiful ball played forward by Bono and a crisp cross on the back line from Owens. Georgia's Madeline Barker evened the match at 1-1 in the 40th minute when Bella Hartley found her for a tap in from the left side.
Tennessee took a 2-1 lead just over three minutes out of halftime when CC Cobb sent a pass in to Caroline Brown front the right side in the 49th minute. Brown sent the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards out.
Georgia has now been eliminated from SEC Tournament contention. Tennessee is currently seeded third for the SEC Tournament, which begins next week.
Auburn Reclaims Iron Bowl Of Soccer Trophy With Double OT Win
AUBURN, Ala. – Tatiana Coleman’s second goal of the match came with just 32 seconds remaining in the second overtime period and helped Auburn reclaim the Iron Bowl of Soccer trophy with a 4-3 win over arch-rival Alabama. The win also moved Auburn up to the sixth seed in next week’s Southeastern Conference Tournament, securing a first-round bye.
“When you get your last look in the game with 32 seconds left, that’s the kid you want on the ball. Tatiana Coleman is a goal scorer,” Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said. “I am so proud of this team. We could have crumbled as everything went our way in the first half and nothing went our way in the second half. Overtime was back-and-forth and we got the one final look. This is a huge victory, the biggest win of the year so far.”
Auburn (11-9-0, 7-6-0 SEC) had sprinted out to a three-goal lead just 32 minutes into the match as senior Mary Coffed scored twice and Coleman once in Auburn’s biggest scoring first half of the season.
Alabama (8-9-2, 3-8-2 SEC) reversed the field in the second half, netting three goals of its own to force the extra time as Theresa Diederich, Merel Van Dongen and Laura Lee Smith all scored in the first 33 minutes out of the break.
That set the stage for the double-overtime dramatics. With the clock winding down and Auburn staring a first round date at the SEC Tournament in the face, Auburn goalkeeper Amy Howard sent a high punt up and over both teams in the midfield. The kick found Coleman in stride, who, with Alabama goalkeeper Shelby Church coming off her line, popped it up and over Church from 20 yards out and into the net for her eighth goal of the season and the eighth game-winning goal of her career.
“When that went over the keeper I couldn’t believe it,” Coleman said. “Losing the trophy last year made us really want to get it back. We worked hard in the first half, we got those three goals and then we got complacent and they punished us. But we came back and got the trophy back.”
Coffed, who had gone an entire month without a goal before scoring last weekend at Vanderbilt, needed just over eight minutes to put Auburn on the board, striking a low-liner to the post for the quick 1-0 lead.
It was just 18 minutes later when Coffed again scored as Alexa Allen fed Tatiana Coleman on the sideline. Coleman ran down to the end line and served a cross into Coffed, who one-touched it in for her second career multi-goal game.
“We did a senior feature yesterday and one of the questions was ‘What has been your most memorable moment’.” Coffed said. “I said, ‘I hope tomorrow night’ and this was it. What an amazing night. I am so excited.”
Coleman extended the lead in the 32nd minute when she and Allen played give-and-go just outside the penalty area for the 3-0 lead before Coleman blasted the shot past Church.
Alabama roared back in the second half as Diederich scored following a corner in the 55th minute and Van Dongen converted on a penalty kick in the 69th minute.
Smith completed Alabama’s comeback in the 79th minute when she ricocheted a shot off the underside of the crossbar and in to knot the game at 3-3.
Auburn dominated the first half, taking 12 shots to just three for Alabama as well as winning four corners to none for Alabama.
The exact opposite happened in the second half as Alabama ripped off 15 shots to Auburn’s three and took four corners while Auburn didn’t attempt any.
Howard finished the night with eight saves to give her 97 on the season and 354 in her career, two shy of the Auburn record held by Allison Whitworth.
“We were so pumped in the first half with how we were playing,” Howard said. “Give credit to Alabama. They never stopped. We just never gave up though. This is incredible.”
With her two goal game, Coffed has now scored 17 career goals, which is ninth all-time at Auburn, and she now has 56 career points, 10th all-time at Auburn.
Auburn will face Tennessee at 2:30pm CT on Wednesday at Orange Beach in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. Auburn lost to Tennessee, 1-0, on Oct. 27 at Auburn.
Aggies Pull Out Overtime Win Versus Missouri, 2-1
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Chelsea Jones scored the golden goal in overtime to send Texas A&M Soccer to a 2-1 win over the Missouri Tigers in the regular-season finale on Thursday evening at Ellis Field.
Shea Groom sent the ball to Jones from the right side of the pitch. Jones received the offering at the top of the penalty arc. She settled the ball at her feet and when Missouri didn’t offer company, she took advantage of the opening and launched a shot to the left of a diving Tigers’ netminder for the end game with 3:58 remaining in the first overtime period.
With the win, Texas A&M (16-3-1, 10-2-1 SEC) secured the No. 2 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama. On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the Aggies will meet either Arkansas or South Carolina in a 12 p.m. quarterfinal match. The Razorbacks and Gamecocks face off at 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29 to open the tournament.
Missouri (13-6-0, 8-5-0 SEC) fell to the No. 5 seed and will face Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The squads played on an even keel through the first 68 minutes before Annie Kunz broke the tie with her 11th goal of the season. Beth West fed a pass in from the right corner of the penalty box to Kunz who got the offering in a full trot. When she got to the right corner of the goal area, Kunz sent in a low driving ball to the far netting to draw first blood, staking the Aggies to a 1-0 lead. The assist was the 28th of West’s career, moving her into eighth place on A&M’s all-time list.
With the Aggies nursing the one-goal lead, Missouri finally found the net in the 82nd minute. Haley Krentz sent in a hard cross from the right side which bounced through the Aggies’ defense which had been stout up to that point. Kaysie Clark received the ball in an enviable spot seven yards out and sent the ball past a disadvantaged Jordan Day in net to knot the game at 1-1.
Day made six saves in goal to pick up the win for Texas A&M. McKenzie Sauerwein went the distance between the pipes for Missouri with five saves.
The shots-on-goal were even at seven apiece and Missouri owned slight edges in shots (14-6) and corner kicks (5-3).
The 16 wins matches the Aggies’ win total from last season (16-6-2).
Sullivan Sets MSU Career Goals Mark With Golden Goal To Defeat Ole Miss, 3-2
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Junior Elisabeth Sullivan scored twice, including the golden goal in the second overtime, and senior Skylar Rosson made 10 saves in her final match as the Mississippi State soccer team wrapped the season by claiming the Magnolia Cup with a 3-2 win against rival Ole Miss.
Sullivan’s two-goal effort was her school-record fourth of the season. She ended her junior campaign with 12 goals, a mark that ties her for second in MSU single-season records.
The Memphis, Tenn., native gave Mississippi State possession of the Magnolia Cup in the 104th minute when she dribbled past a defender and buried the shot past UM goalie Kelly McCormick.
The golden goal also gave Sullivan the Mississippi State career goals record after she tied the top mark on a putback in the 73rd minute to give MSU a 2-0 lead.
“Elisabeth is a remarkable player with the ball at her feet,” MSU head coach Neil Macdonald said. “She is a handful for any back four, and tonight she did what she’s done so many times for us, which is score important goals.”
Both teams exploded on offense following a scoreless opening half.
Mississippi State (9-10-1, 2-10-1 SEC) took the lead in the 66th minute on a ball that was directed in by a Rebel defender for an own goal.
Seven minutes later, Sullivan put the Dawgs in front 2-0 with her 11th goal of the season. Madison McKee hit a shot off the left post that deflected past McCormick, who made one save in the contest. Sullivan raced toward the line and tapped the ball home to extend the lead.
The Rebels (12-8-0, 5-8-0 SEC) rallied, though, cutting into the deficit with a Sara Coleman putback off a free kick in the 77th minute.
Mississippi State continued to fight off Ole Miss attacks until the 79th minute when Rafaelle Souza leveled the match with her 12th goal of the season, a header to the near post.
Ole Miss had a chance to take the win in the first overtime, but Rosson made a fantastic diving save on an Erin Emerson shot to the left post.
In the second overtime session she denied a Mandy McCalla attempt to setup Sullivan’s winner.
“The girls battled hard. We knew Ole Miss played a high back line, so we tried to take advantage of it by playing early balls over the top,” Macdonald said. “The front line did a very good job in the second half and beyond. I have to give a lot of credit to our team for the way they kept fighting.
Rosson faced 13 Rebel on-target chances in the match. The Bulldogs made the most of their chances, converting on three of their four on-goal attempts.
Rosson ended her MSU career with 337 saves, second-most in MSU history. She also recorded her school second-best sixth shutout of the season, giving her a Bulldog-best 13 career blank sheets.
Tigers Scores Three Unanswered for Comeback Win Over Hogs, 3-2
BATON ROUGE, La. – Thursday night proved to be déjà vu for members of the LSU Soccer team as they once again overcame a 2-0 deficit in the first half to score three unanswered goals while claiming a thrilling 3-2 victory over the streaking Arkansas Razorbacks on Senior Night at the LSU Soccer Stadium.
The Tigers (9-7-4, 5-6-2 SEC) sprint to the finish line as winners of three-straight matches to end the regular season as they also snap a three-game winning streak by the Razorbacks (9-9-1, 6-6-1) entering Thursday’s regular-season finale.
The win also hands LSU its ninth-straight victory in the series dating back to the 2004 season.
It was a familiar spot for the Tigers as they also faced a 2-0 deficit at Ole Miss on Friday of last week before pulling off an improbable 3-2 come-from-behind overtime win in Oxford.
After sophomore Jodi Calloway pulled one back on a corner kick by freshman Jade Kovacevic with just over two minutes remaining in the first half, Kovacevic drew the Tigers level on a free-kick strike in the 70th minute and freshman Fernanda Pina scored the game-winner in the 86th minute to deliver a victory for the home side.
“That’s two times in a week to come back from 2-0 down to win a game,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “We have great character. Sometimes we have an issue transferring that character to the field. It was a great fight back. We really needed that win. That’s a big win for our season.”
The Tigers quickly found themselves facing a two-goal deficit late in the first half when the Razorbacks found the back of the net twice in a span of 39 seconds in the 31st and 32nd minutes of play.
As LSU’s junior goalkeeper Megan Kinneman batted a floated free kick by Razorback defender Allie Tripp off the crossbar, freshman striker Ashleigh Ellenwood was in position to clean up the rebound for her team-leading fifth goal of the season at the 30:28 mark of the first half. The Razorbacks struck again inside of a minute following a disastrous turnover by LSU’s back line as sophomore striker Jeriann Okoro raced into the area and finished the breakaway to give Arkansas a 2-0 lead at the 31:07 mark.
But the Tigers would roar back to cut the deficit in half before the break when Calloway netted her first career goal in the 43rd minute when she found herself on the end of a curling corner kick service by Kovacevic from the left corner flag for the header at the top of the six-yard box to cut the Arkansas lead to 2-1.
Kovacevic finished the regular season tied as the SEC’s leading assist maker in league play as each of her team-leading six assists came against SEC competition.
“When you’re down 2-0, you really have to work,” Lee said. “I thought Jodi’s goal changed the whole game. Coming from 2-1 down, that’s a much different task with plenty of time. We didn’t feel like we didn’t have enough time to come back. We continued to play well in the second half.”
After junior Nina Anderson drew a foul 25 yards out in the 70th minute, Kovacevic stepped up and rifled a free kick inside the top-right corner of the net past a helpless Kelly Roliard in goal for Arkansas for the equalizer to level the score at 2-2 with her third goal of the season.
LSU’s comeback was complete with just over four minutes from time as Pina scored her fourth goal of the season to tie sophomore Alex Arlitt for the team lead.
Senior striker Carlie Banks led the charge with an attack down the left flank as she dribbled into the area and centered a pass to junior forward Danielle Murphy, who then dummied a ball to Pina behind a Razorback defender near the top of the six-yard box. Pina’s strike found the back of the net to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead with just 4:16 to play.
The LSU defense stood strong down the stretch as the Tigers claimed their third-straight victory to end the regular season.
“Scoring three goals three games in a row is a lot for us. We’ll see if we can keep it going in Orange Beach,” Lee said. “We know the next time we lose, our season could well be over. We are certainly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. We have to keep winning if we want to play in that tournament.
“You’re allowed to get better over the course of the year. I think our team has really improved and is peaking at the right time.”
With their victory over the Razorbacks and a 3-2 overtime win by Mississippi State over Ole Miss on Thursday night, the Tigers earn the No. 8 seed in the 2012 SEC Women’s Soccer Tournament and will go up against the Rebels in Monday’s opening round at 6:30 p.m. CT at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
The SEC Tournament will run through Sunday, Nov. 4, as the championship match is set for a live television broadcast on ESPNU. Live streaming video of the two semifinals on Friday, Nov. 2, will be shown to certain markets on ESPN3.com.