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Aug. 28, 2011

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By Miquel Jacobs
Assistant Media Relations Director

TEMPE, Ariz. – South Carolina seemingly scored a goal at the end of regulation to tie the match, but it was ruled to cross the line after the buzzer as Arizona State (2-0-0) held on for a 1-0 victory Sunday afternoon at Sun Devil Stadium.

Danielle Au believed to have tied that game at 1-1 with a shot that arched over the goalkeeper following a corner kick by Ali Whitney, but as the Gamecocks (2-2-0) celebrated, the officials met to determine that the ball crossed the line after the clock hit 00:00.

Arizona State’s Nicki Stone scored in the 60th minute with a tap in from a deflected save off a set piece. Darien Vercillo saved the initial attempt from the free kick 20 yards out but could not get a hold of the rebound as the Sun Devils went up 1-0.

Two Gamecock goalkeepers combined for three saves with Sabrina D’Angelo collecting two saves in the first half and Vercillo collecting one save in the second period. The Gamecocks and Sun Devils only combined for six shots on goal on a sunny day in Tempe.

Arizona State edged the Gamecocks in shots on goal 4-2, but South Carolina had a large advantage in corner kicks at 7-1 with six coming in the second half. The teams combined for 26 fouls and five yellow cards.

South Carolina experimented with a new lineup Sunday after playing a double-overtime match at Arizona two days ago with the Sun Devils not having a match in the nine days prior to Sunday’s clash. With the temperature reaching 103 degrees at kickoff, the Gamecocks started five freshmen, the most first-year players to start a game for the Gamecocks since five started regularly in the 2004 season.

The teams played an even first half with neither team getting a dangerous look on goal in the opening 45 minutes. Arizona held a slight 3-2 edge in shots, and both teams attempted one corner kick while committing six fouls. Using a youth-heavy lineup to begin, the Gamecocks were able to control possession for the opening moments of the half.

Both teams had their best looks of the first half come in the closing minutes. South Carolina’s came in the 44th when Kayla Grimsley found space to get a shot on goal that was caught by the keeper. Arizona State found its opportunity in the closing seconds with a free kick just outside the ’18 the sailed inches over the bar as the halftime buzzer rang.

Arizona State was able to get on the board at 59:18 when Kari Shane’s free kick from 20 yards was saved by Vercillo, but the deflection fell right to Stone who tapped in the goal.

The Gamecocks nearly tied the game with seven minutes remaining when Maria Petroni stripped the goalkeeper outside the box, but the Gamecocks could not get a look on frame until Grimsley’s attempt came with the keeper already back in the net.

South Carolina plays its home opener next Friday when Northeastern travels to Stone Stadium for a Friday night match. The Gamecocks and Huskies will kickoff at 7 p.m.