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Oct. 23, 2003

Columbia, S.C. – Fresh off a 2-1 win vs. Kentucky, the South Carolina women’s soccer team hits the road for two key SEC matches at Ole Miss and Mississippi State this weekend. The Gamecocks, who enter with a 9-6-2 record and 2-3-1 mark in the SEC, are looking to earn a spot in the SEC Tournament for the second consecutive year. Carolina faces the Rebels (13-3, 4-2 SEC) on Friday at 8 p.m. ET and conclude the weekend at Mississippi State (7-7-2, 1-4-1 SEC) on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET in a match televised live on SEC-TV.

“It’s important this weekend to play our game and do the things we do well,” said USC head coach Shelley Smith. “When we’ve played well we have had a lot of success this year. We need to be disciplined and as a group be organized and work hard moving off the ball and connecting passes.”

South Carolina last met the Rebels and Bulldogs in the 2001 season, splitting a home series with a 1-0 win vs. Ole Miss and a 2-1 overtime loss to Mississippi State. The Gamecocks own a 3-1 lead in the series history between Ole Miss. Behind a goal by Jess Julin at the 86th minute, USC defeated Ole Miss 1-0, two years ago. The match ended with each team finishing with 10 shots apiece on goal. USC junior goalkeeper Elise Matthews recorded the shutout with three saves, including a save with five seconds left in the match from Ole Miss defender Kristin Chapman, just inside the penalty box.

Against Mississippi State, Bulldog midfielder April Berry’s goal, one minute and forty-five seconds into overtime sealed a 2-1 victory for the Bulldogs. The series between Mississippi State and South Carolina is tied 2-2.

The Gamecocks were in control of the match in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead at 42:08 Erica Bowie scored the first goal. Midfielder Jess Julin led Bowie with a pass, who beat Bulldog goalkeeper Stephanie Lyon, to put USC up 1-0.

Mississippi State came back in the second half at the 61st minute, as Kristin Peterson capitalized on a Gamecock error in the box, to put a goal past USC keeper Elise Matthews to knot the match at 1-1.

South Carolina had a chance just before the end of regulation to tie the game, as senior Lydia Bienias broke into the box with a shot, only to have new MSU goalkeeper Krystal Werges make the save for the Bulldogs.

The regular season for South Carolina concludes on Saturday, Nov. 1 with Carolina at Florida.