#19 South Carolina Meets Alabama In SEC Quarterfinals
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 19
South Carolina has earned the top seed in the league and will face
eight-seed Alabama in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals Wednesday at the
Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala. Kickoff is scheduled for
6 p.m. (ET). Carolina won the regular season meeting between the two
teams by a 4-1 margin.
CAROLINA IN THE SEC TOURNAMENT
South Carolina is in its sixth consecutive SEC Tournament and 10th
overall. The Gamecocks are 3-8-4 in the tournament, but the team has
advanced to the semifinal round four times in the past five seasons and
has advanced to the final in two consecutive years. South Carolina had
a draw against Vanderbilt in 2006 leading to a 4-3 decision in penalty
kicks. The Gamecocks then won their first tournament match in 2007 with
a 2-0 win against Tennessee. In 2009, the Gamecocks defeated Georgia
(3-2) and Florida (1-0) before knocking off LSU in penalty kicks (1-1,
8-7 PKs) to win the title. In 2010, the Gamecocks advanced on penalty
kicks against Kentucky (1-1, 3-4 PKs) and LSU (1-1, 4-3 PKs) before
falling to Florida, 0-1, on an own goal.
South Carolina has met Florida the most in the SEC Tournament, going
1-4-0 against the Gators. They have also met Georgia (1-2-0), Tennessee
(1-1-0), LSU (0-0-2), Vanderbilt (0-1-1) and Kentucky (0-0-1). It is
the first meeting between Alabama and South Carolina in the tournament.
Alabama enters the SEC Tournament after clinching the eight-seed with a
thrilling 3-2 rivalry win against Auburn in the regular season finale.
The Crimson Tide is led by senior goalkeeper Justine Bernier, who was
selected Second Team All-SEC with a 1.36 goals against average and 94
saves this year. Freshmen Pia Rijsdijk (4g, 4a, 12p) and Theresa
Diederich (7g, 1a, 15p) were both named to the SEC All-Freshman Team
and rank first and second on the team in points.
SOUTH CAROLINA SWEEPS ALL-SEC AWARDS
South Carolina swept the SEC women’s soccer postseason awards with
Shelley Smith being named SEC Coach of the Year, senior Kayla Grimsley
being named SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and Sabrina D’Angelo
earning the titles of SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and SEC
Freshman of the Year.
three Gamecocks were named to the All-SEC teams with Grimsley, D’Angelo
and senior Ellen Fahey all earning first team honors. D’Angelo was also
named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. In being named SEC Freshman of the
Year and SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, she is the first player
in SEC history to earn two Player of the Year honors in the same season.
CAROLINA VS THE SEC WEST
South Carolina historically has enjoyed greater success against SEC
West foes than SEC East foes by the surprising note that the Gamecocks
hold the series advantage against all six SEC West schools but does not
have the advantage against any of the SEC East schools. The Gamecocks
are 50-20-13 (.681) all-time against the West with series’ against
Alabama (10-3-0), Arkansas (9-3-1), Auburn (7-5-3), LSU (8-2-5), Ole
Miss (8-3-2) and Mississippi State (7-4-2). In contrast, South Carolina
is 21-66-10 (.268) against SEC East schools.
For the sixth consecutive year Coach Shelley Smith’s 2011 squad
exceeded preseason expectations by finishing strong in conference play.
Picked to finish last in the East in the 2007 SEC Preseason poll, the
Gamecocks tied a then-program record for wins en route to a fourth
place division finish. Carolina was picked fourth in the 2008 preseason
poll and again improved in the standings with a third place finish in
the Eastern division. Coach Smith’s team was again picked fourth in
2009 and responded with an SEC East runner-up finish that earned her
SEC Coach of the Year honors. Last season’s team was picked third in
the East but won a program record eight SEC games to claim second
overall in the league.
YEAR PRESEASON PICK ACTUAL FINISH
(EAST) ACTUAL FINISH (OVR)
East 5th Overall
East 6th Overall
East 5th Overall
East 4th Overall
East 2nd Overall
East 1st Overall
GRIMSLEY HITS ANOTHER MILESTONE
Senior Kayla Grimsley became South Carolina’s all-time points scorer
with a goal and assist against Arkansas, surpassing a 12-year old
record held by Jennie Ondo (1996-99). Grimsley now has a stat
line of 43 goals and 32 assists for 118 points in 92 career games.
Grimsley is the only active player in the SEC with over 100 career
points and is eighth on the NCAA active career points list. She’s the
only active player in the NCAA with 40 goals and 30 assists.
School Player Class Points
1. UW Milwaukee Sarah
201 89 23
T4. Michigan State Laura
135 55 25
Stanford Lindsay Taylor
7. UCLA Sydney
120 55 10
8. South Carolina Kayla
118 43 32
9. Arkansas Pine
107 43 21
Ingrid Wells R-Sr
105 31 43
11. Florida State Tiffany McCarty
SOUTH CAROLINA STREAKING
Since dropping a 1-0 match to Kentucky on Sept. 30, South Carolina has
been on a tear with a eight-match winning streak in which they have
outscored opponents 23-5. All but two of those wins have been by
multiple goals, and in the other six the team scored at least three
The current eight-match
winning streak in conference play is the longest in program history,
surpassing the five straight SEC wins the team posted in 2010. It also
bests the previous SEC unbeaten streaks done in both 2009 and 2010.
SENIOR CLASS SET THE BAR HIGH
The 2010 senior class left Columbia as the winningest senior class in
program history, but the eight-member 2011 class took over that
distinction with its historic victory in Gainesville. The Class of ‘10
held a 59-23-13 (.689) record, the most wins and best win-percentage
for a South Carolina senior class and was the first to advance to the
NCAA Tournament all four years. The Class of ‘11 currently claims a
career record of 60-22-10 (.707). The class is 16th in the nation and
second in the SEC for total victories over the last four seasons.