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Oct. 27, 2002

Final Stats

Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Freshman Amanda Thurber scored her first collegiate goal and Jessica Julin added her fifth goal of the season as the South Carolina women’s soccer team (11-5-2, 4-3-2 SEC) clinched a berth to the SEC Tournament with a 2-1 win at Alabama. Carolina returns home on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. with a non-conference match vs. Wofford. Tuesday’s match is USC’s final home match of the season at Stone Stadium. The SEC Tournament will be held in Oxford, Miss. from November 7-10. Carolina’s opponent is to be determined.

“This is a huge win for us,” said head coach Shelley Smith. “We knew we had to win this game and we stepped up and played very well. I’m very happy for our team.”

Thurber put the Gamecocks on top 1-0 in the middle of the first half. Freshman Kimmy Criss tipped a pass to Thurber, who beat the Alabama defender on her run to the box and scored from 10 yards out to the left corner of the goal at 26:14. Criss’ assist was her second of the season. Carolina came close on several chances to increase the first half lead as Morgan McIntyre and Melinda Carter each hit the crossbar. USC outshot Alabama 10-4 in the first half.

With just less then six minutes remaining in the second half, Jess Julin scored her fifth goal of the season to give USC a 2-0 lead. Julin launched a shot from 30 yards out that went over the head of Bama goalkeeper Courtney Rogers at 84:15. Julin’s shot marked the only shot for Carolina in the second half of play. USC would end up needing the goal as Alabama sparked a late rally and scored with 50 seconds remaining in the match. Alabama midfielder Amanda Baker scored her third goal of the season on a header off a direct kick to bring the Crmison Tide to within one.

Junior Elise Matthews earned the win for USC in goal improving her record to 8-3-2. Matthews had five saves in the match for South Carolina. Alabama finished the match with a 12-11 shot advantage.