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Aug. 26, 2010

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By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant

South Carolina vs Louisville | Friday, 7:30 p.m.
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South Carolina vs Ohio | Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 13 South Carolina women’s soccer team heads home this weekend for the start of a six-match homestand when the team hosts the Gamecock Courtyard Cup. Louisville, Ohio and Bucknell will all visit Stone Stadium this weekend with the Gamecocks playing the Cardinal and the Bobcats.

South Carolina opens its home schedule with a 7:30 p.m. Friday night match against Louisville before taking on Ohio on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The other games in the tournament include Bucknell-Ohio (Friday, 5 p.m.) and Bucknell-Louisville (Sunday, 12 noon). Season tickets and individual game tickets are on sale. Individual game tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for youth, $1 for Groups of 15 or more and a Family Fun Pack that includes 2 Adult & 2 Youth tickets for $15. Season ticket prices are $25 for adults and $10 for students. They can be purchased at or by calling (800) 4SC-FANS.

Heading into the tournament, senior goalkeeper Mollie Patton has 24 career solo shutouts at South Carolina. Her 24 shutouts are nine shy of tying the SEC record of 33, held by Megan Rivera of Auburn (2001-04). She already holds the SEC records for consecutive shutouts (7) and single-season shutouts (15), and was already the South Carolina all-time record holder before the season began.

The Gamecocks only hit the pitch once next week when the team continues its six-match homestand with a Sunday, Sept. 5 date against Arizona State. That game is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Stone Stadium.

Louisville opened its season with a dominating 4-1 win over Eastern Kentucky last Friday, earning goals from three freshmen and a sophomore. The Cardinal were selected to finish fifth in the Big EAST National Division after having a down year in 2009 with a 5-11-1 record. South Carolina and Louisville met last season at the Cardinal Classic in Louisville with South Carolina claiming a 3-0 victory.

The Bobcats opened the year with a 2-0 shutout victory on the road at Pittsburgh. Freshman Mattie Liston led the team in goal with five saves and the shutout in her first collegiate game. The team returns two All-MAC selections from last year in senior defender Rachael Goulding and junior midfielder Kelsey Pichel. Ohio was selected to finish third in the MAC Eastern Division with two first-place votes.

The 2009 senior class left Columbia as the winningest senior class in program history, but the 2010 class can claim that distinction with another solid year. The Class of `09 held a 55-23-14 (.674) record, the most wins and best win-percentage for a South Carolina senior class. The Class of `10 currently claims a career record of 46-17-9 (.701) and also has the chance to become the first class to advance to the NCAA Tournament all four years.

South Carolina has been nearly unstoppable at Stone Stadium the past three seasons, posting a 33-3-5 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), a loss to #7 Florida (Oct. 30, 2008) and the NCAA Third Round thriller against #14 Wake Forest (Nov. 20, 2009). Carolina went 11-1-0 at Stone Stadium last season.

South Carolina will face four opponents for the first time this season, including Sunday’s opponent Ohio. Prior to this season, the Gamecocks had never played Northeastern, Ohio, Arizona State or Minnesota on the pitch. The team is already 1-0-0 this year against first time opponents after defeating Northeastern 3-0. Last season, Carolina went 5-0-0 against first time opponents, defeating Louisville (3-0), Cincinnati (4-0), UCF (1-0), South Alabama (6-1) and Rutgers (1-0).

Freshman defender Gabrielle Gilbert had a strong opening week for the Gamecocks in her collegiate debut. The Canadian national earned starts against Boston and Northeastern at right back and hit the game-winning goal against the Terriers to become the first true freshman to score a game-winning goal on the season opening weekend since Melinda Carter scored the GWG against Davidson on Sept. 1, 1998.

Junior midfielder Lolly Holland picked a perfect day to score her second career goal, sliding in a shot in the 82nd minute to defeat Boston University 1-0 in the season opener. Holland will be looked upon to play an increased role in 2010 and came through in the early going with the goal. She also had an uncredited assist in the win against Northeastern two days later.

South Carolina opened the year with back-to-back road shutouts against Boston University and Northeastern, ending long home winning streaks for each team. South Carolina’s victory at Boston ended a 20-game winning streak for the Terriers at Nickerson Field, dating back to the 2008 season opener. The victory against Northeastern ended a home unbeaten streak for the Huskies who had not lost a home game since October of 2008 and had not been shutout in 17 games.