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Sept. 9, 2007

Box Score

ORLANDO, Fla.Shannon Bigbie scored her first career goal as the No. 13 South Carolina women’s soccer team held on to defeat UNLV, 1-0, Sunday at the UCF Tournament. With the win, South Carolina improves to 4-0 for the first time in school history. The loss drops UNLV, the three-time defending Mountain West Conference champions, to 2-2 on the season.

The Gamecocks had many opportunities to score, but it was Bigbie’s rebound shot in the 71st minute that proved to be the game-winner. Kimmy Gillespie hit a set piece from 30 yards out to a streaking Blakely Mattern in the box, who then tapped it to Bigbie in front of the goal. Bigbie’s initial shot was saved by UNLV goalkeeper Alicia Lugo, but Bigbie struck the rebound into the back of the net for the unassisted goal.

The Gamecocks finished with a 22-6 shot advantage. Fourteen of Carolina’s shots were on goal while two Rebel shots were on target. The Gamecocks also recorded a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Carolina again controlled the first half, almost shutting down the UNLV attack with a 12-3 shot advantage. The Rebels did not register a shot on goal until the 41st minute, a straight shot to Lindsay Thorstenson for the save. On its own offensive front, the Gamecocks used a spread attack with nine players getting shots in keeping the UNLV goalkeeper busy. Lugo, the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week, recorded seven saves in the first stanza, including stopping a barrage of attacks in the 19th and 37th minutes.

Junior forward Danila Monteiro left the game in the 17th minute after tweaking her left ankle on a challenge. Monica Hogan came in for the Gamecocks and gave Carolina its best shot at scoring her corner kick sailed into the box, but Mattern’s header was saved by Lugo on two consecutive attempts.

UNLV’s final shot of the game was a high one on goal in the 79th minute, but the attempt was thwarted by Lindsay Thorstenson to preserve the Carolina victory.

South Carolina placed four members on the All-Tournament team, including Blakely Mattern earning Defensive MVP honors. Kim Miller, Erin Sullivan and Darcel Mollon also earned All-Tournament honors.

South Carolina next returns to action Wednesday night when the host the Winthrop Eagles. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium.

All-Tournament Team
Blakely Mattern, USC
Erin Sullivan, USC
Darcel Mollon, USC
Kim Miller, USC
Samantha Faber, UC Davis
Danielle Contro, UC Davis
Becca Thomas, UCF
Courtney Whidden, UCF
Yvonne George, UCF
Kelsey Kravec, UCF
Kate Begley, UCF
Mack Neely, UNLV
Dani Morin, UNLV

Offensive MVP
Courtney Whidden, UCF

Defensive MVP
Blakely Mattern, USC

Tournament MVP
Yvonne George, UCF

Tournament Results
Game 1: USC 2, UC Davis 1
Game 2: UCF 2, UNLV 1
Game 3: USC 1, UNLV 0
Game 4: UCF 3, UC Davis 0