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Nov. 6, 2010

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By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant

#2 South Carolina vs #1 Florida | Sunday, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
Tournament Central | SC Game Notes icon-acrosmall.gif | UF Game Notes icon-acrosmall.gif

COLUMBIA, S.C. – ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – The top two seeds in the SEC Tournament will meet for the title when regular season champion Florida takes on defending tournament champion South Carolina at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. (ET).

The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU with Sam Gore and Cat Whitehill making the call. It is the second consecutive SEC Tournament final for the Gamecocks, who advanced to the final after defeating Kentucky (3-2) and LSU (4-3) in penalty kicks.

South Carolina’s backline has now limited 13 of their last 14 opponents to four shots on goal or less, a streak that included seven road games, five home games and 10 of 11 SEC opponents. All 11 teams were also limited to 10 total shots or less with the streak dating back to the road victory at then-No. 22 Wake Forest. All-SEC defenders Brittiny Rhoades (1st Team) and Ellen Fahey (2nd Team) lead the charge.

South Carolina is in its fifth consecutive SEC Tournament and ninth overall. The Gamecocks are 3-7-4 in the tournament, but with Thursday’s win the team has now advanced to the semifinal round four times in the past five seasons and has now advanced to the final in two consecutive years. 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. In 2009, the Gamecocks defeated Georgia (3-2) and Florida (1-0) before knocking off LSU in penalty kicks (1-1, 8-7 PKs) to win the title. South Carolina has met Florida the most, going 1-3-0 against the Gators. They have also met Georgia (1-2-0), Tennessee (1-1-0), LSU (0-0-2), Vanderbilt (0-1-1) – along with Kentucky this year (0-0-1).

Florida advanced to the final by defeating Vanderbilt, 5-1, and Georgia, 3-1, in the first two rounds. Lindsay Thompson scored a hat trick against the Bulldogs, setting up a rematch of the regular season championship match between the Gators and Gamecocks. Goalkeeper Katie Fraine only played 45 minutes against Georgia due to a groin injury.

THE 10-10-30 CLUB
Junior Kayla Grimsley’s assist against Kentucky makes her the first Gamecock to join the 10-10-30 club. Grimsley has 12 goals and 10 assists for 34 points this season, numbers that had her at the top of the SEC list in goals, points and game winning goals (5) at the end of the regular season. In just her third season, Grimsley is already No. 2 in the South Carolina record books for career goals (33), assists (23) and points (89).

Junior Kayla Grimsley scored a goal against LSU in the semifinal round to give her 34 points on the year, tying the record set by Gamecock legend Jennie Ondo in 1996 (14 goals, 6 assists). One more point will give Grimsley the all-time record for single-season points (12 goals, 10 assists).

In South Carolina’s 14 wins, nine different players have hit the game-winning goal. Junior Kayla Grimsley leads the team and SEC with five GWG’s, and freshman Danielle Au is the only other player with more than one after notching two game-winners. Seven other players have each scored the deciding goal for South Carolina, a mix of four defenders and three midfielders.

Sunday’s final marks the sixth time in 2010 that the Gamecocks will appear on television, with four of those games occurring on national TV. South Carolina finished the regular season 4-1 on TV this season, including the 3-0 win against Ole Miss (FSC), 7-0 win against Mississippi State (CSS), 2-1 win against Tennessee (ESPNU) and 1-0 win against LSU (ESPNU). The team fell to Florida, 1-0 (SUN Sports).

South Carolina has performed at a perfect level on Sunday afternoon matches, traditionally the toughest day of the week after playing a Friday game. The Gamecocks, 9-0-1 in Sunday matches this year, have outscored opponents 25-4 on Sundays with the lone blemishes coming in a 1-1 tie against Arizona State, a 5-1 win at Kentucky and a 2-1 win at Alabama. Carolina has scored 17 goals in SEC Sunday matches this year. For the record, that means 25 of Carolina’s 38 goals have come on Sundays.

South Carolina is ranked No. 20 by the NSCAA in this week’s poll. Carolina has also positioned itself as a potential NCAA host site as the No. 26 team in the latest RPI report. Carolina is second to only Florida in the SEC in the RPI report and is looking to host the NCAA’s for the second consecutive year. Carolina led the NCAA in attendance for all campus site tournament games last year for the first (3,813), second (2,724) and third rounds (4,347).