Aug. 27, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A goal by South Carolina (1-0) senior defender Sarah Lentz in the 53rd minute lifted the Gamecock women’s soccer team to a 1-0 season-opening victory over Georgia State (0-1) on Friday night at Eugene E. Stone III Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
“I thought we had a good performance tonight,” said South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith. “We played a lot of freshmen tonight and I think they did a good job of facing the challenge of their first collegiate match. We played well and I thought we had some good chances. It was good to have Sarah get involved from the back, that’s certainly something that we have been working on.”
After the intermission, the Gamecocks took control of the match, carrying much of the play in the opening minutes of the half. Lentz’ goal came on a shot from just inside the box on the right side that sailed out of the reach of Panther goalkeeper Alexa Pasquarelli. South Carolina nearly upped its advantage later in the half, when Ashley Williams’ shot from just outside the box was deflected over the net by Pasquarelli.
In the first half, both teams spent much of the period feeling one another out and searching for scoring chances. The Gamecocks out shot the Georgia State by an 8-4 margin in the firs half, forcing Pasquarelli to make five saves, while South Carolina rookie net-minder Laura Armstrong had four stops.
The Gamecock defense limited the Panthers to just one shot in the second half, as Armstrong made five saves en route to her first collegiate shutout and victory.
“We have a young team this year so it was good to start off the year with a win,” said Smith. “A lot of people are going to have the chance to play this year, but we are happy with the talent that we have on this team and the match tonight was a good first test.”
South Carolina will have little time to savor its first victory, as the Gamecocks travel to face James Madison on Sunday, in a match that will kick off at noon. -SC-