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    SEC Soccer Today: Friday, October 25

    Friday Soccer RESULTS
    South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 1
    Florida 3, Tennessee 0
    Auburn 3, Arkansas 1
    Georgia 2, LSU 1
    Missouri 2, Kentucky 1
    Alabama 3, Mississippi State 1
    Texas A&M 2, Arkansas 1

     

    No. 13 Gamecocks Soar Past Vanderbilt 4-1

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – In its best offensive output of the season, South Carolina (13-2-2, 6-2-1) struck three times in the first 15 minutes of the game en route to a 4-1 win over Vanderbilt (4-10-3, 1-7-1) on a chilly night at Stone Stadium. Freshman midfielder Chelsea Drennan set up all three of the first half goals as she tied the school record for most assists in a game.

    It didn’t take long for the Gamecocks to strike. Drennan teed up the team’s first corner just ahead of the 90-second mark and sent a ball in that redshirt junior Taylor Leach rose up on and buried in the back of the net. It was the defender’s second goal of the season as well as her second game-winner. The goal was the fifth fastest in program history.  

    “That always helps,” Head Coach Shelley Smith said of the early goal. “You go into games where you’re struggling to score goals that you need and those are frustrating. I think we came off a weekend where that happened and we didn’t get the goals we wanted and had lots of chances, but didn’t put it away so it was nice to come out and put one of our first chances in the goal.”

    Just under 10 minutes later, Drennan found sophomore Raina Johnson just outside the top of the box on the right side. The midfielder struck a shot to the right top corner that ended up in the hands of Vanderbilt keeper Shannon Morrish two yards after it had crossed the line.

    Three minutes later it was midfielder Gabrielle Gilbert getting in on the action. The versatile senior was in the right position at the right time as Drennan slotted in a pass from the right side of the box that found her sitting inside the six-yard box where she calmly tapped it in for her first goal of the season and seventh of her career.

    The shots kept coming throughout the first half as freshman Vanessa Kovar took a right-to-left rip from distance in the 27th minute that landed just wide of the far post. Six minutes later, fellow freshman Daija Griffin hit a sliding attempt from the top of the box that was deflected up and over the crossbar. Less than a minute later, senior Elizabeth Sinclair put charge into a shot from 20 yards out that screamed past the far left post. Junior defender Christa Neary closed out the first half chances for the Gamecocks as she got on the end of a corner in the 41st minute on the back post, but the ball popped off her head and over the bar.

    In all South Carolina totaled 15 shots in the first 45 minutes and allowed just one as the squad held a 6-0 advantage in shots on goal going into the half. The three goals marked the first time that the Gamecocks have done that since Oct. 7, 2011 versus Alabama.

    The scoring didn’t stop in the first half though as Johnson tallied her second of the match and team-leading seventh goal of the season in the 57th minute. The sophomore got the end of a low pass from the left side from senior forward Danielle Au just inside the 18-yard box where she hit a low shot to the left side past Vanderbilt keeper Olivia Liebman who entered the game in the 20th minute.

    The Gamecocks were unable to keep a clean sheet though as Cheyna Williams showed in the 61st minute why she is why one of the most dangerous strikers in the country. The sophomore corralled a loose ball just beyond the half line, took the ball down the left channel before hitting a dipping shot into the right netting over junior goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo for her SEC leading 16th goal of the season.

    With four more shot attempts before the final whistle was blown, South Carolina finished the game with 23 shots compared to the Commodores three and held a 9-1 edge in shots on target.

    The Gamecocks will hit the road tomorrow as the travel to Starkville, Miss., to face Mississippi State (3-13-0, 0-9-0) on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET at MSU Soccer Field.     






    No. 7 Gator soccer wins 3-0 at Tennessee

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Florida soccer team claimed a 3-0 win over Tennessee Friday evening in front of a chilly crowd of 1,669 at the Regal Soccer Stadium. It was Florida soccer's first win in Knoxville since 1999.

    After a scoreless opening half, junior Havana Solaun was knocked down in the box. Solaun placed the kick in for the Gators' first score off a penalty kick of the season. Solaun scored her second goal of the evening when the corner kick she took from the left side in the 66th minute went untouched into the goal. It was her second double-goal match of the season.

    Florida scored its final goal of the match when senior Taylor Travis sent a diagonal ball from the end line to Savannah Jordan. Jordan scored from eight yards for her 16th goal of the season.
     



    Auburn Soccer Blows Past Arkansas, 3-1, For First SEC Victory

    AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn women’s soccer team earned its first SEC victory of the season on Friday night, defeating Arkansas, 3-1, at the Auburn Soccer Complex. With the victory, Auburn keeps its Southeastern Conference Tournament berth hopes alive and moves to 5-8-4 on the season and 1-5-3 in the SEC.

    The Tigers were propelled by a first half goal by reigning SEC Freshman of the Weekk, Casie Ramsier, and second half goals from freshman defender Kala Faulkner and junior midfielder Tori Ball. For Ramsier, she continues to hold her team-lead of seven goals on the year, while Ball netted her fifth of the season. For Faulkner, tonight’s goal was her first of the season and second of her career.

    “We were really proud of our team tonight,” Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa said. “Arkansas is a great team. They had a lot of wins already and were aggressive in their attack, but I thought our team’s defense was outstanding. They did a great job keeping the ball in front of them. Our offense did a particularly good job in the second half in keeping the pressure on them and off our backs.”

    Auburn’s defense withstood a tough Arkansas attack that tallied eight shots in the match, with three on goal, all in the second half. Junior goalkeeper Alicen Wright scored her second win of the season, allowing only one goal on the night.

    The Tigers found the net first with 25 minutes left in the first half as senior defender Bianca Sierra paced down the right side of the field before passing to a wide open Kim Spence, who was just outside the 18-yard box. Spence then connected a laser-pass to Ramsier, who was able to tip in the pass just in front of goal giving her team the early lead.

    Arkansas evened the match 13 minutes later as Allie Tripp was able to head in a cross from Jeriann Okoro from four yards out off the free-kick. Okoro’s kick landed just feet in front of the goal line where Tripp headed it in off the bounce just to Wright’s right side.

    In the second half the Tigers came out determined to regain the lead, which it did scoring five minutes into the period off of a Samantha Solaru corner. Solaru sailed the pass into the box and the ball was met by Faulkner’s head as she was able to arch it over Arkansas’ goalkeeper, Cameron Carter. The goal was Faulkner’s first of her the season and ended up being the game-winner.

    With time winding down, Auburn found insurance from junior captain Tori Ball after she sealed the victory for with 3:15 left in the match. Ball was able to break free on a long clear from the Tiger defense and only had the goalkeeper to beat. Ball rifled it over Carter’s head from 16-yards out for her fifth goal of the year, good for second on the team.

    Auburn will return to action for the final regular season match of the year against Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. at the Auburn Soccer Complex. Before the match, Auburn will recognize its three seniors, Bianca Sierra, Maddie Barnes and Kim Spence.

    For complete coverage of the Auburn soccer team, be sure to check AuburnTigers.com, follow them on Twitter, @AU_Soccer or like the Auburn University soccer page on Facebook.
     




    Freshmen Pace Georgia Over LSU, 2-1

    BATON ROUGE, La. - The Georgia soccer team won its first game in Baton Rouge since 2000, picking up a 2-1 victory over LSU Friday night at the LSU Soccer Stadium with both goals coming from freshmen in the key road victory.

    Rachel Garcia put the Bulldogs on the board just three minutes in, while classmate Marion Crowder tallied what proved to be the game-winner in the second half and an 84th-minute Tiger goal was not enough as Georgia came away with the three big Southeastern Conference points.

    LSU (9-6-2, 5-3-1) tonight had a five-game home unbeaten streak snapped, while the Bulldogs improved to 11-5-1 (4-4-1) with the win. Georgia now sits in eighth place in the SEC standings heading into Sunday’s contest at Arkansas, with the top 10 teams in the conference earning a trip to the SEC Championships in Orange Beach Nov 4-10. Following the meeting with the Razorbacks, the Bulldogs will close out the regular-season slate next Thursday at home vs. rival Florida.

    “This is such a huge win for this team,” said head coach Steve Holeman, who tonight coached his 400th career game. “I am really proud of the girls and the way they fought and came out with a lot of energy. We were able to move the ball well and possess well, and we created a lot of good chances. I thought we played one of our best games of the season.”

    “We were able to just play our game and play within our system,” Holeman said. “We got that second goal, which turned out to be important, and in the second half they pressed us as expected, but we held on and got a much-needed three points.”

    The Bulldogs came out firing from the start, and grabbed the early 1-0 lead off the head of Garcia just 2:59 into the contest to set the tone. The goal came after a long clearance upfield from defender Nikki Hill, and Garcia placed the header perfectly past the keeper and into the bottom corner just inside the near post for the score – her third of the season and first in SEC action. It marked the second-earliest the Bulldogs had scored in a game this season after Crowder tallied a goal just 2:22 into the game vs. Ole Miss to mark the earliest.

    The Bulldogs used the early goal to get some first-half momentum going, and continued to pressure LSU as time wore on. With 28 minutes on the clock before halftime, freshman Gabby Seiler had a hard shot go high, and Crowder had one saved after a good move up top and working for the left-footed chance inside. Midfielder Nicole Locandro had a shot saved by the LSU keeper Megan Kinneman with 24 minutes left, and just before halftime Caroline Waters sent one inside to an awaiting Lauren Tanner, but her header was saved as well.

    At the break, the Bulldogs continued guarding the 1-0 lead on the road, edging out the Tigers in shots by an 8-6 margin.

    Early in the second half, Crowder had a breakaway opportunity and dished off to Garcia, who had a shot blocked, and Crowder’s follow on the rebound rolled wide. Seven minutes into the second frame, Madeline Barker took a corner kick, but Garcia’s shot off the set piece went high of the mark.

    The Bulldogs then tacked on the second goal in the 65th minute as Barker and Seiler worked through a good passing sequence before finding Crowder open in front, and the rookie did not miss, firing her team-leading 11th goal of the year past Kinneman to make it 2-0, while both Barker and Seiler were credited with assists on the play. Crowder is now just one goal shy of tying the Georgia freshman record for scores in a season, set in 2006 by All-American Carrie Patterson.

    Moments later, Barker had a header go just wide left, and Georgia continued in search of a third goal.

    But LSU was able to cut the deficit in half in the 84th minute, as a corner kick chance set up Fernanda Pina for a shot, but after her attempt was blocked, Jodi Calloway was there to finish, making it 2-1 with the Tigers still armed with plenty of time to find the equalizer.

    Despite a late flurry of LSU chances at the tie, the Bulldog back line and keeper Caitlin Woody were able to withstand it, and Georgia came away with the tough road win.

    In all, the Bulldogs finished ahead in the shot count, 21-12, with Crowder ending with six and Seiler with five to lead the way. Crowder now has seven game-winning goals on the year for UGA, good for second-most all-time and just one shy of first.

    Georgia is now 8-5-2 all-time in the series vs. LSU, and tonight snapped that 13-year drought for the program in Baton Rouge.

    The Bulldogs will round out their final regular-season road trip of the 2013 season as they travel to face Arkansas on Sunday at 2 p.m. That game will be televised regionally on CSS, while Georgiadogs.com will offer live audio and blog coverage beginning just before kickoff. Thursday’s game vs. the Gators in Athens will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will serve as Senior Night.






    Richardson's Golden Goal Lifts Mizzou Past No. 25 Kentucky, 2-1

    LEXINGTON, Ky. - Senior Dominique Richardson scored with less than three minutes remaining in double overtime to give the Mizzou soccer team a 2-1 win over No. 25 Kentucky Friday night in Lexington, Ky. The win was the Tigers' third over a ranked team in Southeastern Conference play.

    Missouri improved to 8-7-2 overall and 4-3-2 in SEC action, while the Wildcats fell to 12-4-1 and 6-2-1.

    With the score tied at 1-1 through 107 minutes of play, junior Taylor Grant made a run down the right sideline and played a ball across the top of the box. Richardson ran onto the cross and one-timed an 18-yard blast into the lower right netting for the game-winner. The tally was Richardson's third of the season, while Grant was credited with her second assist of the game.

    Missouri broke through first with a tally in the 13th minute. Grant crossed the ball toward the box, where Richardson flicked it toward net. Redshirt sophomore Lauren Flynn struck a chip off a bounce that flew over the Wildcat keeper for a 1-0 Tiger advantage. The goal was Flynn's first of the season and second of her career.

    Just five minutes later, Kentucky responded with a goal of its own to knot the score at 1-1. A Wildcat lofted a cross into the box that Caitlin Landis headed over redshirt junior goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein.

    The squads traded scoring chances to close out the first half. First, Sauerwein got her hands on a high blast and punched the shot over the crossbar. Then in the 45th minute, junior Kaysie Clark sent a cross into the box that found the head of senior Dominique Richardson. However, Richardson's header sailed high to negate the scoring opportunity.

    Play went back and forth in the second half with both teams getting good looks at goal. The Tigers looked poised to take a late lead in the 88th minute but freshman Melanie Donaldson's header off a corner was stopped at the goal line by the Wildcat defense.

    Neither team managed to convert chances in the first overtime session, sending the game to double overtime. Mizzou and Kentucky traded shots before Richardson gave the Tigers the 2-1 victory.

    Missouri outshot Kentucky 23-17 in the game, including 5-3 in both overtime sessions. Sauerwein made six saves in goal for the Tigers.

    Mizzou returns home to Walton Stadium to close out the home portion of its schedule on Sunday, Oct. 27 with a 1 p.m. contest against the Tennessee Lady Volunteers. Prior to the match, Missouri will honor its five seniors for their contributions to the Tiger program.
     




    Alabama Soccer Team Defeats Mississippi State, 3-1

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Alabama junior forward Pia Rijsdijk scored the game-winning goal and added a pair of assists to lead the Crimson Tide soccer team to a 3-1 win at Mississippi State on Friday night.
     
    With the win, the Tide earns a crucial three points in the league and improves to 4-5 in Southeastern Conference play and 6-10 overall. The Bulldogs fall to 3-13 for the season and 0-9 in conference play.
     
    Rijsdijk continues her stellar play as of late, as the Numansdorp, Netherlands native has now recorded six goals and four assists on the year. All six of her goals and three of her four assists have come over Alabama’s last eight matches.

    After a scoreless first half, the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead at the 54:10 mark on a goal by senior forward Elisabeth Sullivan. It was her league-leading 15th tally of the year, which also tied a school record.

    However, the Crimson Tide would respond just three minutes later, at the 57:58 mark, when junior midfielder Theresa Diederich netted her third goal of the year. Rijsdijk set up the goal when she slotted a pass to Diederich, who was streaking down the right side of the box. The Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., native then settled the ball and deposited a shot into the far side to even the match.

    Alabama continued to press forward and took the lead at the 60:46 mark, just over two minutes after tying the match, when Rijsdijk scored off a double assist from senior Molly Atherton and sophomore Katie Bourgeois.

    Mississippi State came close to tying the match on a couple of occasions, but Rijsdijk set up senior Kendall Khanna when she slotted a ball through the Bulldog defense. Khanna took the ball in stride and ripped a shot into the right side of the net in the 85th minute, resulting in the final score.

    Eleven of the Tide’s 14 shots on the night came on frame, compared to five of 12 shots for the Bulldogs. Alabama also owned a 10-2 lead in corner kicks.

    Alabama will continue Southeastern Conference play with its final true road match of the 2013 season when it travels to play at Ole Miss on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. That contest will be televised live on Fox SportsSouth and can also be seen on ESPN3.com.
     




    Aggies Topple No. 23 Ole Miss, 2-1

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies extended their win streak to eight matches with a 2-1 comeback win over the No. 23 Ole Miss Rebels on Senior Night at Ellis Field on Friday.

    The match kept Texas A&M three points ahead of second-place Florida heading into their match in Gainesville on Sunday. The contest, slated to start at 2 pm Central, will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

    The herd of teams still in the hunt for the SEC regular-season title was culled down to four teams on Friday night. The Aggies sit atop of the standings with 24 points with an 8-1-0 league ledger. The Gators have 21 points with a 7-2-0 SEC record. South Carolina is in third place with 19 points and Kentucky stands in fourth place with 18 points.

    With two matches remaining in the regular-season, the Aggies can secure an outright title with a win on Sunday and a tie would earn the Aggies at least a share of the league crown.

    Ole Miss (12-4-2, 5-3-1 SEC) drew first blood in the 31st minute. Mandy McCalla controlled the ball on the right flank and sent a cross into the six-yard box. Olivia Harrison gathered the ball in the left corner of the goal area and sent a shot to the back of the net for her 12th tally of the season.

    The Rebels took a 1-0 lead into the intermission, despite the Aggies owning an 8-6 advantage in shots and a 6-3 edge in shots-on-goal. Ole Miss took the first four corner kicks of the half, but Texas A&M controlled the flow of play in the final in the final 10 minutes and evened the opportunities at 4-4 at the break.

    The Aggies turned up the offensive aggression in the second half. The peppering of shots began early as Annie Kunz launched a shot in the first 20 seconds that found Kelly McCormick making a heroic save to keep A&M off the scoreboard.

    Texas A&M (13-3-1) finally notched the equalizer in the 67th minute as Bianca Brinson went on a one-player counterattack. Brinson took a clearance from an Aggie defender just outside the penalty box, alluded two Rebel forces early and then raced 70 yards down the right side of the pitch before slotting a shot to the left of McCormick from eight yards out to tie the game at 1-1 with her third goal of the season.

    The Aggies’ continued pressure paid off with a penalty kick opportunity with 4:57 remaining in the second half. After Kelley Monogue had a shot blocked from 20 yards out, the ball ping-ponged around the Rebels’ defense in the penalty box where the referee whistled Ole Miss for a hand-ball.

    Shea Groom stepped up to take the penalty kick. Despite guessing the correct direction, McCormick was unable to make the save on Groom’s perfectly placed offering and the Aggies took the 2-1 lead.

    For the match, Texas A&M owned advantages in shots (20-9), shots-on-goal (11-4) and corner kicks (6-4).

    Jordan Day picked up her 45th career win in goal for the Aggies, making three saves in the winning effort, including a punch save in the 79th minute on a shot from Harrison to keep Ole Miss from taking a 2-1 lead down the stretch.

    McCormick made eight saves, including six in an impressive first half. The Rebels’ backline also made a team save on a shot by Kunz in the 77th minute that would’ve given A&M the upper hand.

    The Aggies’ eight-match conference win streak is the longest for the Aggies in league play since winning eight consecutive matches in Big 12 play between September 26 and October 24, 2010.