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Oct. 7, 2004

The South Carolina women’s soccer team (6-6-1, 0-3-1 SEC) heads back on the road this weekend with conference matches at Vanderbilt (3-5-2, 2-1-1 SEC) and Kentucky (5-5-1, 2-1-1 SEC). Friday night’s match at Vanderbilt is set for 8 p.m. ET with Sunday’s match vs. the Wildcats in Lexington to kick off at Noon ET. Live stats for both matches will be available at

“It’s important for our team to step up on the road this weekend and play like we have on our home field” said Coach Smith. “We’ve put ourselves in a little bit of a hole in the SEC and we need to make sure to get some points. If we play well, we will deserve the points. We have to focus on what we do well, eliminate our mistakes and continue to produce on the offensive end.”

Carolina looks to boune back after a tough 3-1 loss at home on Sunday vs. seventh ranked Tennessee. The loss was USC’s first home loss of the season and snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak at Stone Stadium for the Gamecocks. USC enters the weekend with a 1-4 record on the road with the lone road win a 3-1 victory at Furman on August 31.

“Vanderbilt and Kentucky are both talented teams and better than their overall records show,” said Coach Smith. “They have both done well in the SEC season and will be ready to play this weekend. Every weekend is tough in the SEC and any team can beat anyone.”

Vanderbilt has got the better of USC in the past few years and have won five straight contests dating back to 1999. Last year the Commodores defeated Carolina 1-0 in Columbia on a second-half goal by Michelle Bruntlett. After a scoreless first half, the Commodores struck early in the second period with the lone goal of the match. Off a feed from Erin Higgins, Buntlett knocked a shot from the top of the “18” that went off the crossbar and off the hands of Carolina goalkeeper Elise Matthews for a goal. The goal for Bruntlett was her third of the year and came at 58:44. USC came close to tying the match, including two chances with under five minutes remaining. An Erica Bowie corner kick found Ashley Williams, whose header was saved by Esther Thompson with three minutes remaining. In the last 10 seconds, Carolina broke into the box with Williams feeding a cross to an open M.A. Foster, near the far post with the ball just missing the foot of Foster.

History in the USC-Kentucky series has been better for USC as the Gamecocks enter Sunday’s match having won the last two matches of the series. Carolina defeated Kentucky 2-1 last year on Senior Day in Columbia. After a scoreless first half the Gamecocks got on board early in the second period to take a one-goal lead. Williams drove to the top of the 18 and laced a shot past Kentucky goalkeeper Liz Butler to the right corner giving Carolina a 1-0 edge at 54:38. Kentucky struck back 14 minutes later to tie the match at one on a goal from Elisabeth Jones. A through ball from Elizabeth Ramsey found an open Jones, who knocked in the shot from 10 yards past Matthews. The match remained even until until the 80th minute when Sarah Lentz scored the game-winning goal. Off a corner kick, Lentz won the battle for the ball with Kentucky players and knocked a shot to the far post that was high enough to get past Butler giving Carolina the 2-1 lead.