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Sept. 14, 2007

Box Score

CHARLOTTE, N.C.Darcel Mollon scored two goals as No. 13 South Carolina defeated Charlotte, 2-0, in a rain-soaked game at Transamerica Field in the second game of the Carolinas’ Cup. The Gamecocks (6-0-0) ended Charlotte’s 12-game home-unbeaten streak and defeated the Niners (2-3-0) for only the second time in eight attempts.

It was Mollon’s second two-goal game of the season as she moved into 14th place on the USC all-time scoring list with 25 career points. Mollon also recorded the first two goals in the win against East Tennessee State in the home opener this year.

Lindsay Thorstenson registered five saves and recorded the shutout for the Gamecocks and improved her record to 5-0. Thorstenson, who entered the game leading the SEC with a 0.29 goals against average, moved into a tie for second place on the USC all-time goaltending record with nine career shutouts. Teammate Laura Armstrong recorded her ninth career shutout Wednesday night.

Defense was the name of the game early for South Carolina as they continued the shutout play that they used in Wednesday’s 5-0 victory against Winthrop. After holding the Eagles without a shot in the final 45 minutes Wednesday, the Gamecocks were able to hold the Niners without a shot in the opening 45 minutes Friday. Charlotte’s first shot came in the 51st minute of the match, ending Carolina’s streak to 96 minutes of holding the opponents without a shot. The Niners ended the game with a flurry of shots against Thorstenson and held a 10-9 shot advantage.

Carolina had early shot opportunities in a physical first half. Danila Monteiro took a ball intended to give her a breakaway but she was elbowed on the play, resulting in a Charlotte yellow card. Mary Worthen responded with two 1v1 opportunities after getting behind the defense, but both shots missed the mark. Courtney Cobbs then began running in the 26th minute for an opportunity but was hard tackled by the sideline, resulting in Charlotte’s second yellow card of the night. Carolina was issued two yellow cards in the second half – both in the final 10 minutes – as Samantha Diaz-Matosas and Ashley Kirk both received cautions.

It wasn’t until Mollon took a play in the second half and ran down the left side past the Charlotte defense that the Gamecocks were able to figure out a way to get the ball in the net. Mollon took a ball from Erin Sullivan and outran the defense for the goal. The score served as a blueprint for her attack as she took the same approach two minutes later, but the shot sailed high. In the 71st minute, Mollon again went on the offensive with the same pattern from a ball by Blakely Mattern but changed her attack with a shot from 30 yards out that sailed into the net for her second goal of the night.

Charlotte’s best attempt to tie the match came in the 65th minute during a cluster inside the Carolina box. Charlotte’s Whitney Weinrob squared a deflection and took the shot, but the ball was deflected off the back of a Carolina defender in front of the goal to end the threat. Weinrob positioned herself for one final look on goal in the 80th minute but was denied by Mattern.

The Gamecocks return to action Sunday when they compete against Furman at the Carolinas’ Cup. Furman lost a 2-1 decision to #17 Clemson in Friday’s opening game.