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Nov. 6, 2009

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – South Carolina advanced to Friday’s SEC Tournament semifinal where the team will take on top-seeded Florida at 8:30 p.m.

The Gamecocks (16-3-1) defeated Georgia 3-2 in the quarterfinals after coming back from an early deficit by scoring two goals in the final 10 minutes of the match. Florida (15-4-2) advanced by defeating Tennessee 1-0 in overtime.

Florida handed South Carolina a 3-0 loss in the regular season finale at Gainesville, the most goals allowed by the South Carolina defense in an SEC game since a game against Vanderbilt in the 2006 season. The winner of the South Carolina-Florida match will face the winner of the LSU-Auburn match Sunday for the SEC Championship.

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South Carolina is advancing to its fourth consecutive SEC Tournament and eighth overall. With Wednesday’s win against Georgia, the Gamecocks are 2-7-1 in the tournament, but the team has advanced to the semifinal round three times in the past four seasons. South Carolina had a draw against Vanderbilt in 2006 leading to a 4-3 decision in penalty kicks. The Gamecocks then won their first tournament match in 2007 with a 2-0 win against Tennessee. Friday’s game will be the fourth against Florida at the tourney. South Carolina has met Florida the most, going 0-3-0 against the Gators. They have also met Georgia (1-2-0), Tennessee (1-1-0) and Vanderbilt (0-1-1).

Florida rebounded from a shaky start to claim the SEC regular season title for the fourth consecutive season. Balanced by a slew of All-SEC and All-Freshman team members, the Gators went 8-1-2 in the conference with the only loss coming to Ole Miss. In the SEC Quarterfinals, Florida knocked off eight-seed Tennessee 1-0 with a golden goal by Lindsay Thompson in the first overtime period.