Go SEC Sports


        Your SEC Sports News

                 Apple iTunes






    South Carolina

Go SEC Sports



South Carolina Hosts SEC East Rivals Kentucky & Vandy


COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina hosts SEC rivals Kentucky and Vanderbilt in the 2011 SEC home opening weekend with the Eastern Division teams looking to separate from a five-way tie after the start of conference play. Friday’s match against Kentucky will be a double-header with the men’s team with the Gamecocks and Wildcats scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m. Sunday’s fixture against Vanderbilt will be nationally broadcast live on ESPNU at 3 p.m.
The Gamecocks are unbeaten in the last five matches against Kentucky, going 4-0-1 since the 2007 season. South Carolina won a 5-1 decision in Lexington before the teams played to a 1-1 draw in the SEC Tournament. Carolina advanced 3-2 on penalty kicks en route to the title match.
Vanderbilt leads the series against South Carolina 13-2-3, but Carolina’s two victories have come in Columbia (1999 and 2009). The teams played to a scoreless draw in Nashville last season - the first in series history - as South Carolina now holds a two-game unbeaten streak against the Commodores.
The Gamecocks stay at home for the second consecutive weekend when they take on their first opponents from the SEC Western Division in Alabama and Auburn. The Crimson Tide visit Stone Stadium next Friday before Auburn comes for a Sunday game televised on CSS.
Kentucky enters the weekend high off one of the best starts to a season in Wildcat history with an 8-2-0 record. Friday’s match will be the fourth straight road game for Kentucky. The Wildcats have netted 21 goals, led by junior Kelsey Hunyadi’s seven goals and six assists for 20 points. Kentucky is one of four SEC East teams starting a freshman in goal with Kayla Price earning all 10 starts with a 1.12 goals against average and 40 saves along with three shutouts.
Interim coach Derek Greene has the Commodores at a 6-4-0 record heading into the weekend. Vanderbilt was shutout at Alabama and Auburn last week and will look to senior Candace West to lead the team after entering SEC play with three goals and an assist for seven points. The team has played three keepers evenly on the season with junior Jessica Amlaw earning the starts in both SEC games. Amlaw holds a 1.57 goals against average with nine saves and a shutout on the year in 287 minutes. The team can also go to freshman Brittanie Barbero (287 minutes, 0.63 goals against average, seven saves, two shutouts) or redshirt freshman Alexa Levick (327 minutes, 0.55 goals against average, nine saves, two shutouts) between the pipes.
Senior Kayla Grimsley took sole possession of the program record for career assists in Friday’s win at #11 Tennessee after earning her 25th career assist on Kortney Rhoades’s golden goal. Grimsley passes the record of 24 set by Mindy Sanders from 1996-99, a record that has held strong for 12 seasons. The connection with Rhoades is a strong one as Grimsley previously tied the record against UNC Wilmington on a goal scored by Rhoades, her best friend.
Senior Kayla Grimsley became the second Gamecock to hit the 100-point milestone after scoring the first goal of the game at Georgia last Sunday. Grimsley’s goal at 33:22 gave her 101 points in her career with a stat line of 38 goals and 25 assists for 101 points in 81 career games.
       Grimsley is the only active player in the SEC with over 100 career points.
Freshman goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo ranks 59th in the country in goals against average at 0.83 and is 10th among the nation’s freshmen in the category, but it’s the intangibles that has the national media paying attention. The Canadian international ranks fifth in the SEC in goals against average and 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.” This is despite missing two and a half games to a sprained ankle suffered at Clemson.
Freshman goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo recorded a career-high eight saves at Georgia and also became the first South Carolina goalkeeper to ever earn an offensive point with her assist on Kayla Grimsley’s goal. D’Angelo’s eight saves - included a reflexive kick save that kept the game scoreless early in the first half - were the most for a Gamecock keeper in an SEC match since Elise Matthews posted 18 saves in a scoreless draw against Ole Miss on Oct. 24, 2003.
D’Angelo also earned the assist on Grimsley’s first half goal with a booming free kick from the center line the Ariane Lukens headed to Grimsley for the one-touch score.

       For the first time since the 2003 season, South Carolina has played every freshman on its roster. In most years, the Gamecocks have had an incoming player either redshirt or injured. The closest since 2003 that South Carolina came to playing every freshman on the roster was the 2004 season when every field player played but one goalkeeper did not see action.
       South Carolina started five freshmen in its road game at Arizona State, the most freshman to start a game for the Gamecocks since five regularly started for the team during the 2004 season. Coach Shelley Smith put out a lineup that included goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo, defenders Christa Neary and Ali Whitney, midfielder Ariane Lukens and forward Alexa Gainey against the Sun Devils. Andie Romness has earned three starts, and Lani Smith saw her first action at Georgia to round out the 2011 freshmen.

Senior Kortney Rhoades is having a career season in her final year as a Gamecock. A transfer from St. Joseph’s (Pa.), Rhoades had her first multi-goal game with two scores in the 2-1 win at #11 Tennessee. Rhoades has four goals and two assists for 10 points, with her goal line the most she’s had in a season and the 10 points tying her freshman year at SJU for her top year.

Defense has been the calling card for Shelley Smith’s Gamecocks, and the 2011 season shows early signs of continuing that character trait despite the abundance of youth in the regular rotation. South Carolina has posted shutouts in five of its seven wins and is second in the SEC with nine goals against and a 0.78 goals against average.

South Carolina will appear on a TV a minimum of three times in 2011 with at least one of those games occurring on national TV, marking the fifth consecutive season that Carolina will play in front of a national audience. Two of Carolina’s four SEC Sunday home games will be televised, beginning with a national broadcast against Vanderbilt on ESPNU. The following Sunday’s game vs. Auburn will be shown on CSS, and the Florida game in Gainesville will be shown on FS Florida.

The freshmen have overtaken the back half of the field for the Gamecocks with one of the youngest defenses in the nation. South Carolina starts three freshmen between the backline and the goalkeeper position with Chrisa Neary and Ali Whitney starting as defenders and Sabrina D’Angelo starting in goal. In addition, Andie Romness has earned three starts at defender early in the season.

The 2010 senior class left Columbia as the winningest senior class in program history, but the eight-member 2011 class can claim that distinction with another solid year. 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 52-21-10 (.687) and has a chance to set the new record.



Become a Fan    



Go Big 10 Sports





Copyright  2011 GOSECSPORTS.COM  All rights reserved.
GOSECSPORTS.com is not affiliated in any way with the SEC Conference®.
Team logos are the property of the respective members of the SEC.

This website is an unofficial source of sports news and information, and is not affiliated with any school, team or league.