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Aug. 30, 2008

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina looks to extend its unbeaten streak to three games as they host Boston University in a Sunday night match at Stone Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. as the Gamecocks and Terriers meet in women’s soccer action for the first time. The first 200 fans at the match will receive free South Carolina Soccer key chains. Admission to the match is $5 for adults and $3 for youth.

The Gamecocks (1-0-1) are coming off a 1-0 victory against East Carolina in Thursday’s home opener. Junior Samantha Diaz-Matosas scored the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 43rd minute to improve South Carolina to 16-1-3 at Stone Stadium since the start of the 2006 season. Boston also played Thursday night, getting their first win of the season in a 1-0 victory against Rhode Island. The Terriers (1-1-0) opened the season with a 1-0 loss to 14th-ranked Boston College.

NOTE: Due to construction on The Dodie Academic Enrichment Center, a large section of Heyward Street will be closed to traffic beginning immediately. Fans planning to attend upcoming men’s and women’s soccer events at Stone Stadium should be aware of this closure and seek an alternate route to parking lots surrounding the stadium.

South Carolina hosts the Carolina’s Cup next weekend, highlighted by the anticipated matchup between South Carolina and Clemson at 7:30 pm Friday. The Gamecocks last defeated the Tigers in 2006 at Stone Stadium in a 1-0 victory in front of 2,823 fans. The last three matches have been decided by one point, and every match since 1999 has been a shutout for the winning team. Also competing at the Carolina’s Cup will be Furman and Francis Marion.

A 2007 NCAA Tournament participant and the unanimous pick to win the America East this year, Boston enters Sunday’s match with a 1-1 record following a victory against Rhode Island on Thursday. Senior Jennifer Hermann scored the goal for BU. The Terriers opened the season with a close 1-0 loss to 14th-ranked Boston College.

South Carolina has been nearly unstoppable at Stone Stadium the past two seasons, posting a 16-1-3 record at home since 2006. The streak included a 15-game unbeaten streak from Aug. 31, 2006-Oct. 5, 2007. The lone blemish on the record was a double-overtime loss to Vanderbilt (Oct. 7, 2007) when the Gamecocks surrendered a goal with nine seconds remaining in the game. Carolina recorded 13 shutouts during the stretch, six coming in the eight games in 2007.

South Carolina will face four first time opponents during the 2008 season with Boston being the second of the group to play Carolina this season. UNC Wilmington was the first as the Gamecocks and Seahawks battled to a scoreless tie in the season opener. National runner-up Florida State and Western Carolina will also take on the Gamecocks for the first time this year. Last season, USC went 4-0 against first time opponents, defeating East Tennessee State, Winthrop, Marshall and UC Davis last season by a combined 16-3, including two shutouts.

Junior Samantha Diaz-Matosas scored Carolina’s first goal of the season with a penalty kick in the 43rd minute against East Carolina. The PK was her first career attempt as the goal was the first game-winner of Diaz-Matosas’s career. The score was her fourth overall and second since moving from forward to defender last season.

Freshman Idana DeCecco saw her first game action Thursday night against East Carolina. DeCecco, a native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, is the first Gamecock player to hail from Canada. She is only the eighth international player to play at Carolina, the others coming from England, Trinidad, Finland (two players), Brazil, Ireland and Nova Scotia. DeCecco was a U15 and U16 national team member for Canada and is expected to bring a strong defensive presence to the Gamecocks this season.