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Nov. 4, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Fifth-seeded South Carolina takes on No. 4 seed Missouri in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals on Wed., Nov. 5, at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala. The SEC Network will provide coverage of the tournament’s quarterfinal action.

Date/Opponent: Wed., Nov. 5, vs. (4) Missouri
Kickoff: Approx. 8:30 p.m. ET
Stadium: Stone Stadium
Broadcast: SEC Network, SEC Network+
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Since handing the Gamecocks their first league loss (1-0) in September, Missouri has gone 4-4-1.The Tigers finished the regular season with an 11-5-3 overall record and went 6-4-1 to finish fourth in the SEC. A 2-1 win over Arkansas last Thursday earned Missouri the No. 4 seed in this week’s tournament. In addition to taking down the then-No.14 Gamecocks, Missouri collected its second win over a ranked opponent three weeks later in a 2-0 road win over then-No.17 Georgia. SEC first teamer Kaysie Clark leads the team with 16 points on 3 goals and 10 assists. Taylor Grant and Second-Team All-SEC honoree Reagan Russell rank second on the team with 15 points apiece. Grant has netted a team-high seven goals this season. In goal, McKenzie Sauerwein has played every minute, allowing 25 goals while posting six shutouts. Sauerwein has a 1.26 goals against average this season.

In three all-time meetings, the Gamecocks have never recorded a result against the Tigers. Earlier this season, South Carolina dropped its home SEC opener to Missouri, falling 1-0 on Sept. 26 with the game-winner coming from Lauren Selaiden. Over the course of the series, the Tigers have outscored the Gamecocks 4-1, with the lone South Carolina goal coming from then-freshman Paige Bendell in Columbia, Mo., in a 2-1 loss last season.

All-time, the Gamecocks are 5-11-4 in the SEC Tournament with a 5-7-4 record in Orange Beach. This season marks South Carolina’s 13th trip to the event and ninth-straight appearance. In 2009 and 2010, the Gamecocks advanced to back-to-back SEC tournament finals, taking the title in 2009 after defeating LSU 8-7 in PKs while falling 0-1 to Florida the following season on a own goal. Four times, including a stretch of three straight games spanning the 2009 and 2010 tournaments, the Gamecocks have moved to the penalty kick phase of a match. Shelley Smith’s squad has not dropped a shootout at the SEC Tournament. After advancing for the first time in program history in 2006 on penalty kicks vs. Vanderbilt, the Gamecocks recorded their first SEC Tournament win vs. Tennessee in 2007.

When the 2014 SEC honors were announced on Sunday, the Gamecocks were well represented. Forward Savannah McCaskill became the third SEC Freshman of the Year in program history, joining teammate Sabrina D’Angelo (2011) and Ashley Kirk (2004). McCaskill was also named Second-Team All-SEC and All-Freshman. For the second-straight season, senior team captains Sabrina D’Angelo and Taylor Leach earned First-Team All-SEC recognition after anchoring the defense as they led the league in nearly every major statistical category including goals allowed (11), goals against average (0.58), shots on goal allowed (60) and points allowed (31). The South Carolina backline limited 10 of its 11 league opponents to 5 shots on goal or less. D’Angelo, a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2011, 2013), has earned All-SEC honors all four years of her career in the Garnet and Black and boasts a career goals against average of .779.

South Carolina closed out its regular season with a 3-0 shutout victory over Mississippi State at Stone Stadium last Thursday. Redshirt freshman Lindsey Lane netted her second goal of the season to get the scoring started in the 12th minute. Sophomore Chelsea Drennan recorded the ninth game-winning assist of her young career on the play. Just six minutes later, sophomore Sophie Groff extended the lead to 2-0 on a ball from freshman Savannah McCaskill. In the 50th minute, McCaskill and Drennan teamed up to get McCaskill’s fifth goal of the season to push the score to 3-0.

For the second-straight season, the Gamecocks moved through non-conference play allowing just one goal (vs. Clemson, Sept. 5). South Carolina allowed a goal in each of its first four SEC matches, before posting its first league shutout against LSU (1-0) on Oct. 5. The Gamecocks have seen just 11 goals scored upon them and boast a 0.581 goals against average (13th nationally). The Gamecocks have allowed more than one goal in just two matches this season (3-2 W vs. No. 5 Florida, 2-2 T at No. 6 Texas A&M) and have earned 10 shutouts in their 19 matches this season. No other SEC team has allowed less than 15 goals.

In Monday’s NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) report, the Gamecocks held at the No. 11 spot after their 3-0 win over Mississippi State. South Carolina posted a program-high No. 5 in the season’s initial report. The RPI is one of the tools used by the selection committee to determine the 64-team field for the NCAA Tournament, ranking teams based on wins and losses as well as strength of schedule.

The winner of the match between the Gamecocks and Tigers will advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals to take on the winner of SEC regular-season champion (1) Texas A&M and (8) Georgia at 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday.