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Aug. 12, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and the Fox Soccer Channel have announced that the South Carolina women’s soccer regular season finale against Florida will be broadcast nationally as the NSCAA College Game of the Week. The game has been moved to Thursday, Oct. 30 and will begin at 8 p.m. EST at Eugene E. Stone III Stadium.

“I’m excited for our program to be on national television,” head coach Shelley Smith said. “It’s great exposure for the team, this University and the Southeastern Conference. It’s always a great matchup between us and Florida, especially at that time of the season where it comes down to a couple of points here and there for a lot of teams going into the SEC Tournament.”

The match marks the second consecutive season that South Carolina will be featured on the Fox Soccer Channel. The Gamecocks traveled to Tennessee for the 2007 SEC opener in the NSCAA College Game of the Week and battled the Lady Vols in an overtime thriller.

“We’re looking forward to finishing off the regular season on television in front of a national audience,” Smith said. “The girls handled that well last year at Tennessee. It’s something for them to always remember and is a chance for their families around the country to see us perform if they can’t make it.”

South Carolina and Florida were both 2007 NCAA Tournament participants. Last season the Gators defeated Carolina 2-0 in Gainesville in a match that decided the final SEC Tournament standings. Florida won the SEC regular season title by one point while the Gamecocks battled for the rights between the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds in the tournament. The two teams last played in Columbia on October 27, 2006, in a 1-1 tie. That match pushed Carolina ahead of Auburn for the fifth seed in the tournament, and the Gamecocks went on to defeat Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals in penalty kicks.

“We really have to thank our University and the NSCAA for allowing us to host a game,” Smith said. “We’re thankful for the support that we have been shown to be able to host a game at Stone Stadium. It’s wonderful that we can display our conference and show how competitive the teams in the SEC are.”

The Fox Soccer Channel can be found on Time Warner Cable channel 149. South Carolina opens its season when it travels to UNC Wilmington on Saturday, August 23. That match is scheduled for 2 p.m., and the home opener is slated for 5 p.m. against Western Carolina on Thursday, August 28.