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Aug. 29, 2009

South Carolina vs. Western Carolina | Sunday, 2 p.m.
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General Information
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s soccer team returns to the pitch Sunday afternoon in a 2 p.m. match against Western Carolina at Stone Stadium. The Gamecocks (1-0-0) are coming off a 2-0 win against College of Charleston, and the Catamounts (2-0-0) defeated East Tennessee State 2-1 Friday night.

Western Carolina holds the 1-0 series advantage after upsetting the No. 20 Gamecocks last year, 1-0, at Cullowhee. The loss ended Carolina’s season-opening eight-match unbeaten streak and began a stretch of nine wins in 10 games for the Catamounts.

Fans are reminded that due to construction on the Dodie Academic Enrichment Center, parking has changed for the 2009 season and the gravel lot in front of the stadium will not be available for fans. Plenty of parking will be available throughout the block, including at The Roost parking lot, in the diagonal spots along Heyward Street marked “Contractor Parking,” on Marion Street (between Stone Stadium and the Indoor Fieldhouse), and along Sumter Street (West side of stadium).

Sunday’s match is deemed Father-Daughter Day. All dads are encouraged to bring their daughters to the game, and after the match the South Carolina women’s soccer team will hold a question-and-answer session. It is also $1 Dog Day. All hotdogs will be sold at the concession stand for $1.

The Gamecocks travel to Louisville, Ky., to participate in the Cardinal Classic next weekend. South Carolina will play the host Louisville Cardinals Friday night at 7 p.m. before taking on Cincinnati Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Western Carolina enters Sunday’s match on a season-opening two-game winning streak after defeating Gardner-Webb and ETSU. The Catamounts were selected to finish second in the Southern Conference this year and had three players named to the Preseason All-SoCon team – Jenny Matteson, Shanna Schmoker and Caitlin Williams. Williams was the 2008 SoCon Tournament MVP and currently ranks third on WCU’s all-time list for saves and shutouts.

South Carolina ended its preseason with a 2-0 shutout win of the Mexican National Team. Since that match, the Mexican team has gone 3-0 and outscored opponents 11-1 with wins at Kennessaw State (5-0), TCU (4-1) and last night’s win at #12 Southern California (2-0). The tour ends Sunday when the team faces Cal State Fullerton at 8 p.m.

South Carolina has been nearly unstoppable at Stone Stadium the past three seasons, posting a 24-2-5 record at home since 2006. The streak included a 15-game unbeaten streak from Aug. 31, 2006-Oct. 5, 2007 and a 13-game unbeaten streak at “The Graveyard” from Oct. 19, 2007-Oct. 23, 2008. The lone blemishes on the record are a double-overtime loss to Vanderbilt (Oct. 7, 2007) and a loss to #7 Florida (Oct. 30, 2008). Thursday’s win against College of Charleston was Coach Shelley Smith’s 50th win at Stone Stadium.