#22 South Carolina Takes On #1 Stanford In NCAA Second Round Action
S.C. – No. 22 South Carolina travels to top-ranked Stanford in the
second round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament, marking the third
consecutive year that the Gamecocks have advanced to the Round of 32.
The Gamecocks (16-6-0) and Cardinal (20-0-1) will kickoff Friday at 10
p.m. (ET) at Cagan Stadium in the first meeting between the two teams.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior Lolly Holland scored in the seventh minute to send South
Carolina to the NCAA Second Round for the third consecutive season with
a 1-0 victory over Texas Friday night at Stone Stadium. Holland’s goal
at 6:25 was assisted by a pair of classmates in seniors Kayla Grimsley
and Maria Petroni.
CAROLINA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
South Carolina is playing in its fifth consecutive tournament and sixth
overall, holding an all-time record of 4-4-1 in NCAA Tournament games
after its 1-0 win over Texas. The first bid came in a 2-0 loss at
Charlotte in 1998. The current streak began in 2007 as Carolina earned
an at-large bid and played Duke to a 1-1 draw at Athens, Ga. Duke
advanced with a 4-1 edge in penalty kicks. In 2008, South Carolina
dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to William & Mary at Durham, N.C.
South Carolina advanced to the Round of 16 in 2009 with victories
against Davidson (4-0) and Rutgers (1-0) before losing to Wake Forest
(1-0) on a last-second stunner when the Demon Deacons scored off a
corner kick at 89:59. Carolina went 1-1 last season with a 2-1 victory
over UNC Greensboro in the first round before falling to host Virginia
Stanford enters the match with a 20-0-1 record and the No. 1 ranking in
the nation. The Cardinal have lost just two matches since 2009 - both
in the NCAA College Cup Final - and are riding a 47-match home unbeaten
streak, the last loss being a 2-0 shutout at the hands of Connecticut
in the NCAA Third Round on Nov. 23, 2007. Stanford is a seasoned NCAA
Tournament team with 13 consecutive home NCAA wins (11 by shutout)
while outscoring opponents 33-2.
The Cardinal are led by senior Lindsay Taylor’s 18 goals and five
assists for 41 points. In total, eight members of the team have reached
double-digit points this year, including freshman Chioma Ubogagu’s
9g/9a/27p and Mexico international Teresa Noyola’s 8g/11a/27p line.
Sophomore Emily Oliver leads the nation with a 0.24 goals against
average wtih only four goals allowed in 1,488 minutes (18 matches
played). She has posted eight clean sheets on the year.
THE SEC vs THE NO. 1’s
South Carolina’s last attempt at the nation’s top-ranked team came in
the 2007 season opener when the Gamecocks stunned the defending
national champions, 1-0, to hand the Tar Heels the first home-opening
loss in the storied UNC history. It was the first time in three years
(54 matches) that the Tar Heels were shutout, and the first time in
five years (over 90 matches) that North Carolina was shutout at home.
Since the 2007 season, the SEC has gone 1-4-1 against top-ranked teams,
with South Carolina’s victory the only one in that span.
Date SEC vs #1 Score
September 1, 2007 South Carolina
defeated #1 North Carolina 1-0
September 7, 2008 #1 Southern
California defeated Alabama 7-1
September 18, 2009 #1 North Carolina defeated LSU 1-0
September 20, 2009 Auburn tied #1 North
September 4, 2010 #1 North Carolina
defeated Tennessee 7-2
September 19, 2010 #1 North Carolina
defeated Florida 2-0
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. In being named SEC Freshman 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.
THE 10-10-30 CLUB
Senior Kayla Grimsley’s last season became the first Gamecock to join
the 10-10-30 club with 12 goals and 10 assists for 34 points. She got
an assist against Texas to earn the honor for the second consecutive
season with a stat line of 10 goals and 10 assists for 30 points this
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 33 assists for 119 points in 94 career games.
Grimsley is one of two active players 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.
BLESSING IN DISGUISE?
South Carolina was upset in the SEC Quarterfinals with a 1-0 loss after
entering the tournament as the top seed. The Gamecocks believe that the
loss was a blessing in disguise, as Coach Shelley Smith’s squad was
starting to get hit by the injury bug. Without having to play three
games in five days, the Gamecocks were able to rest and stick to a
normal training session for NCAA’s.
Starting left back Ali Whitney has been out of action for four weeks
with a hamstring injury suffered at Ole Miss, but she has been upgraded
to questionable for the NCAA Tournament. Junior Dani Henry started the
year at right back and moved to left back when Whitney went down, but
Henry herself fell to a hamstring injury in the first half of the SEC
Quarterfinal match last week. The extra days off for her and the
potential replacements - Ali Glemser and Lauren Hyden - kept all
players fresh and allowed Henry to be game-ready against Texas.
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 61-23-10 (.702). The class is 15th in the nation and
second in the SEC for total victories over the last four seasons.
Defense has been the calling card for Shelley Smith’s Gamecocks, and
the 2011 season has continued that character trait despite the
abundance of youth in the regular rotation. South Carolina has posted
shutouts in nine of its 16 wins and leads the SEC with 16 goals
against, a 0.71 goals against average and an 83.8 save percentage.
MORE ON THE BACKLINE
Senior Ellen Fahey (left center back), redshirt junior Dani Henry
(right back) and freshmen Christa Neary and Andie Romness have all been
individually named to separate National Teams of the Week as the
leaders of the backline that has limited seven of 11 SEC opponents to
four shots on goal or less. In SEC play, the Gamecocks have allowed an
SEC-low 24 points, and South Carolina is the only team that did not
allow two goals in a game more than once in conference play.
D’ANGELO MAKES AN IMPACT
Freshman goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo ranks 36th in the country in goals
against average at 0.73 and is 5th among the nation’s freshmen in the
category, and she is also 8th among the nation’s freshmen in save
percentage at .831, but it’s the intangibles that has the national
media paying attention. The Canadian international ranks 1st in the SEC
in goals against average and second in save percentage, and she has
single-handedly kept South Carolina in games with more than a dozen
“how did she do that” saves that had “All White Kit’s” blogger Chris
Henderson write “(D’Angelo) should be one of the favorites for freshman
All-America honors and looks like rounding into one of the SEC’s best.”
Assuredly, D’Angelo was named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and
SEC Freshman of the Year for her performance this season.
ROMNESS FILLS IN AS A CATALYST
Freshman Andie Romness was re-inserted into the Starting XI against
Vanderbilt and saw Carolina go on an eight-match win streak. After
taking over set pieces when classmate Ali Whitney went down to injury,
and the Virginia-native responded two assists in her first game.