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Oct. 10, 2002

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s soccer team (9-3, 2-1 SEC) returns home this weekend for the first of four consecutive home matches as the Gamecocks face Arkansas at 7 p.m. on Friday evening at Stone Stadium. Carolina concludes the weekend on Sunday afternoon vs. LSU at 1 p.m.

“We’re excited to be home again,” said head coach Shelley Smith. “Our players have high hopes to make postseason play and these are the next two steps to take. Last year we were on the road against both teams and came away with a win and a tie. We hope to improve on that this season.”

South Carolina enters this weekend tied for second place in the Eastern Division, one half game behind Tennessee. LSU enters this weekend in first place in the Western Division following two wins at Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Arkansas is 0-2 in conference play with losses at Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Both teams have yet to play a home match in conference play. Carolina’s last match at home was a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory vs. defending SEC champion Florida. The Gamecocks are 3-1 on the season at home.

Carolina junior goalkeeper Elise Matthews is currently second in the SEC with a 0.62 goals against average and ranked 16th in the nation. Carolina has allowed just eight goals in 12 matches played this season, also second best in the conference.

Last year the Gamecocks traveled to Fayetteville and Baton Rouge to face the Lady Backs and Lady Tigers with USC coming home with a victory and a tie. Forward Kristen Schreiber scored two goals and goalkeeper Elise Matthews earned a shutout as USC defeated Arkansas 2-0. The Gamecocks had four different players score in a 4-4 tie at LSU to complete the road trip.

Friday evening’s match will be broadcast on USCSPORTS.COM with Kevin McCrarey and Richard Rowell handling the broadcast duties