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.
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.
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
ON THE HORIZON
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.
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.
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.
GRIMSLEY HITS THE ASSIST RECORD
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.
GRIMSLEY HITS ANOTHER MILESTONE
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
Grimsley is the only active player in the SEC with over 100 career points.
D’ANGELO MAKES AN IMPACT
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
D’ANGELO PUTS UP THE SAVES ... AND ASSISTS
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.
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
YOUNG AT HEART
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
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
A CAREER SEASON
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.
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.
GAMECOCKS ON TV
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.
YOUTH IN REVOLT
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.
SENIOR CLASS SET THE BAR HIGH
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.