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Nov. 20, 2009

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South Carolina Press Conference
Wake Forest Press Conference

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A header by Wake Forest midfielder Bess Harrington in the final second of regulation found the back of the net for a goal as the Demon Deacons defeated South Carolina 1-0 as time expired in the NCAA Third Round at Stone Stadium on the campus of the University of South Carolina. Wake Forest improves to 16-5-2 and will face the winner of North Carolina-Maryland. South Carolina’s record-breaking season ends at 19-4-2 on the year. Friday night’s game was played in front of a crowd of 4,347 fans, the largest attended women’s soccer match in Stone Stadium history.

Friday night’s game appeared to be extending into overtime but Harrington was able to find the game-winning goal just as the clock struck zero in the 90th minute of play. The Deacons were able to gain control and possession off a throw-in and created a corner kick opportunity. With the clock ticking down under 10 seconds, Wake Forest forward Jill Hutchinson soared a perfect ball into the box that found the head of Harrington, who connected with a direct header that went past the Gamecock defense and goalkeeper Mollie Patton and into the net just before the buzzer to end regulation. For Harrington, the goal was her second of the season.

The goal capped off an exciting second half that saw both teams playing dead even as each tallied seven shots for the half. After Wake Forest controlled the first 45 minutes, the advantage shifted to the home team in the second half as Carolina opened the stanza with some pressure and scoring opportunities. Carolina forward Brooke Jacobs drove down the right side of the field in the 46th minute and hit a long shot that drifted deep into the box that was saved on line by Wake Forest keeper Amanda Barasha. Lindsay Small had a header in the 51st minute off a free kick that would also be saved by Barasha. Senior forward Samantha Diaz-Matosas would come close to a goal as Jacobs sailed in a ball that went to the far post and just a couple feet away from the foot of Diaz-Matosas. Wake Forest’s Bess Harrington would have Wake’s first strong goal opportunity in the 57th minute from 10 yards out only to see her shot saved by Gamecock keeper Mollie Patton.

Carolina looked to almost have a goal in the 60th and 61st st minute that saw a crazy flurry inside the six-yard box. Kortney Rhodes would get a shot off that was blocked by a Wake defender. On the play however, the ball would spin towards Gamecock forward Brooke Jacobs who took a direct shot in on Barasha. The Wake keeper would make a save but could not control the ball, allowing Jacobs an opportunity to get another shot off that went off one of the goal posts.

Wake would begin to create advantages again as Hutchinson would get a touch right outside of the six-yard box in the 67th minute but her shot would go high and wide of the goal for the Demon Deacons. Bianca D’Agostino had a direct look from 30 yards out for Wake in the 71st minute but that shot would sail wide left of the goal. Kaley Fountain got in from 10 yards out in the 76th minute after a series of passes, but Gamecock defender Ellen Fahey would block her shot. Wake would get a direct in the 84th minute from 24 yards out but it would not get through the Gamecock wall and the Gamecock back line cleared the ball.

The match saw Wake Forest finish with a 15-9 advantage in shots. Barasha had three saves for the Demon Deacons. Patton would finish with one save for the Gamecocks. Harrington had four shots with two on goal for Wake with Jacobs also finishing with four for Carolina including three on goal.

The Demon Deacons controlled a majority of play in the first half with an 8-2 advantage in shots. Forwards Jill Hutchinson and Kaley Fountain tallied two apiece to lead Wake Forest. Wake Forest midfielder Casey Luckhurst was credited for the first shot in the match in the second minute that was high of the goal. Carolina would be awarded the first corner in the 10th minute of play. Wake Forest Allie Sadow put a shot on goal in the 11th minute from 12 yards out that was denied near the post by Mollie Patton. Hutchinson would tally Wake’s third shot of the match on a run off a long pass that would be deflected by Gamecock defender Brittiny Rhodes. The Demon Deacons would stay on the attack in the 16th minute receiving a free kick just outside the penalty area near the center of the field. Fountain’s shot would sail high and wide though. Gamecock sophomore forward Kayla Grimsley would record the Gamecocks’ first shot of the match in the 20th minute that would be blocked by a Wake Forest defender.

Brooke Jacobs had South Carolina’s first strong scoring opportunity in the 35th minute as Wake Forest keeper Amanda Barasha saved a shot from 25 yards out on a dive. That was followed up by a dangerous opportunity for Wake Forest from Hutchinson, who drilled a 15-yard shot high and over the reach of Gamecock keeper Mollie Patton and off of the crossbar at the 37th minute. In the 41st minute, Wake had another near score as Hutchinson got behind Patton only to not get a shot off as Gamecock defender Blakely Mattern made a strong slide tackle to keep the ball away from the goal that resulted in a Wake corner kick.