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Sept. 8, 2010

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By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant

South Carolina vs Clemson | Friday, 7:30 p.m.
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South Carolina vs Furman | Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
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Date: Friday, September 10
Furman vs. High Point – 5 p.m. –
South Carolina vs. Clemson – 7:30 p.m. – Live Stats and Free Video Links Above

Date: Sunday, September 12
Clemson vs. High Point – 12 noon –
South Carolina vs. Furman – 2:30 p.m. – Live Stats and Free Video Links Above

Rhoades Sisters Feature

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 21 South Carolina women’s soccer team continues its six-match homestand in hosting the annual Carolina’s Cup Tournament. The yearly tournament pits South Carolina, Clemson, Furman and High Point against each other with the Gamecocks taking on rival Clemson (Friday, 7:30 p.m.) and in-state foe Furman (Sunday, 2:30 p.m.). South Carolina has won the past three Carolina’s Cup Tournaments with a perfect 6-0-0 record since 2007.

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.

Clemson has come on strong in the third season under head coach Hershey Strosberg, entering Friday night’s matchup with a 5-0-0 unblemished record. The Tigers are led by a youthful revival featuring sophomore forward Maddy Elder and freshman goalkeeper Lauren Arnold. Elder currently sports four goals with three assists for 11 points despite only taking 11 shots so far this season. Arnold was the highest-rated goalkeeper recruit of the 2010 class and immediately stepped into the starting role for Clemson. She carries a 0.42 goals against average and has 21 saves with one shutout. Six starters are freshman and two more are sophomore for Clemson.

* Each game since 1999 has been a shutout victory for the winning team
* South Carolina has won the last three games in Columbia
* Since Shelley Smith became USC coach, Carolina has outscored Clemson 9-7
* Last year’s 5-0 Gamecock victory was the first ever at Clemson’s Riggs Field
* Only one game in 15 matches has gone to overtime: a 1-0 Clemson win in 2003
* When played as part of the Carolina’s Cup Tournament, Carolina holds a 2-0 record
* Carolina’s wins in 2008 & 2009 mark its first back-to-back wins in series history
* Clemson leads the all-time series 10-5 but Shelley Smith is 4-5 against the Tigers

Furman enters the tournament with a 3-2 record and are coming off a 4-0 victory at Presbyterian College. The Paladins have scored 14 goals in five games with 10 different players each finding the back of the net this year. The offensive leader for Furman has been junior forward Rachel Shelnutt who has three goals and four assists for 10 points. Freshman midfielder Colleen Lynch leads the team with three assists. Junior Jessica Smith has played every minute in goal this season and carries a 0.78 goals against average with 25 saves and three shutouts. Junior forward Martha Hall was a Preseason All-SoCon selection, and freshman midfielder Emiliy Cooper competed for New Zealand at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this summer.

Junior Kayla Grimsley, an All-American candidate at forward, has been called upon to play many roles for the youthful Gamecocks in 2010, Already one of the most prolific scorers in Gamecock history, Grimsley has added to her M.O. as a distributionist as well. With four assists already on the season – three coming on game-winning goals – Grimsley moves to No. 2 on the South Carolina all-time list with 17 in her career, behind the 24 put up by Mindy Sanders from 1996-99. Already in the Carolina top three in nearly every offensive category (including goals, assists and points), Grimsley entered the season with the freshman (6) and sophomore (7) records for single-season assists. She needs just two more to also set the junior record.

Junior defender Ellen Fahey missed the Gamecock Courtyard Cup after suffering an injury against Northeastern, and the leader at centerback was missed in the team’s first game without her – a 1-0 loss to Louisville at home. In fact, in the three games South Carolina has played without Fahey since 2008, the Gamecocks have gone 1-2-0, with losses against the Cardinal this year and LSU last year, and the lone win coming against Ohio. Fahey returned to the pitch against Arizona State and will be looked upon as the leader at centerback.

Sophomore defender Dani Henry took upon one of the most high-profile jobs this year when she was called to fill in the centerback spot vacated by the graduation of consensus All-American Blakely Mattern. Henry, a top 150 recruit coming out of high school, has played every minute of the season in the spot beside Ellen Fahey.

Sophomore Christine Watts played all 25 games last season at midfield as the team’s top reserve before starting the first two games this year at the same position. However, she’s taken up a new position as the team’s starting right back defender. Watts initially filled in following the injury to Ellen Fahey, and her performance forced the coaches to reshuffle the lineup when Fahey returned to keep Watts starting on the backline.

Freshman midfielder Elizabeth Sinclair is a Gamecock to keep your eyes on. The St. Louis native immediately impressed with her work ethic and skills, taking her all of two games to crack the starting 11 in the spot vacated by the graduation of All-SEC performer Kim Miller. Sinclair brings the same all-around presence to the field that Miller gave the Gamecocks as a four-year starter.

The Gamecocks conclude the non-conference schedule with matches against two nationally-ranked teams. South Carolina will host No. 23 Minnesota in a rare Thursday night game at 7 p.m. on Sept. 16. The team will then travel to No. 16 Wake Forest on Sunday, Sept. 19 in a rematch of last season’s NCAA Round of 16 fixture.