September 30, 2001
GAINESVILLE, FLA – The South Carolina women’s soccer team (5-1-2, 0-1) opened up conference play against three-time defending champion No. 20 Florida, losing a close battle, 1-0 on Sunday afternoon. The loss snaps the Gamecocks career best seven-game unbeaten streak.
“I think we went in and showed we could compete with any team in the conference and nation,” said USC head coach Shelley Smith. “We were right in the match and I thought our defense played well and really shut down their forwards who are very good.”
Junior midfielder Melinda Carter and sophomore forward Becca Epstein each led the Gamecocks with two shots on net. Junior goalkeeper Elise Matthews played the entire 90 minutes and finished the match with four saves.
Florida scored the lone goal of the contest at 20:15 as Gator All-American Abby Wambach knocked in the game-winner from six yards out. The Gators goal was only the third goal allowed by the Gamecocks this season. The Gators finished the match with a 10-7 shot advantage.
“Our team went into the mach with confidence and it showed on the field,” said Coach Smith. “As far as scoring chances, we would have liked to have more but we were able to compete with them the entire match.”
The Gamecocks will next compete Tuesday evening Oct. 2 against in-state rival No. 15 Clemson. The match will take place at Clemson and will start at 7 p.m.
“Our team is disappointed we couldn’t win against Florida but we are going into this next match with Clemson with the same confidence,” said Coach Smith. “Since the beginning of the season our players have stuck together and we look forward to this next match.”