Oct. 5, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Caroline Brown scored in the 54th minute to lift the Tennessee soccer team to a 1-0 victory over South Carolina on Friday at Eugene E. Stone III Stadium, ending a five-game, five year losing streak against the Gamecocks.
Tennessee improved to 9-3-2 and 4-2-1 in the SEC while South Carolina fell to 3-6-4 and 0-4-3 in the conference. The win was UT's first over the Gamecocks since a 3-2 double-overtime win on Sept. 27, 2007.
"It's a win," UT head coach Brian Pensky said. "There's nothing like winning. We talk about it all the time. There's no greater feeling than winning, especially on the road. Nobody on our roster has beaten USC and only assistant coach Joe Kirt and director of soccer ops Hemant Sharma on our staff have defeated South Carolina.
"It was great to see Caroline have such an impact because of what she has been going through, injury-wise."
Brown found the back of the net for the third time this season in the 54th minute. Junior CC Cobb booted the ball into the far right corner for Brittney Wade and the sophomore defender sent a cross to about eight yards from the middle of the goal, connecting with Brown for the game-winner to the lower right side of the net. Cobb and Wade were credited with the assists.
In a scoreless first half, South Carolina had the edge in possession despite Tennessee's 6-4 edge on shots. The Gamecocks had three corner kicks and numerous crosses into the box that were squandered.
In the 30th minute, sophomore Allie Sirna made a terrific team save on an open net. USC's Andie Romness took a set piece from about midfield sending it into a crowded box. After a few bounces, Sirna made a great kick save in the middle of the net as UT sophomore goalkeeper Julie Eckel was playing further up.
In the second half, Tennessee had better possessions and more effective shots, applying heavy pressure on the Gamecocks' back line. In the 82nd minute, senior Kylie Bono fired a beautiful shot from about three yards outside the box that would have screeched into the upper center of the net if not for a tremendous diving save by South Carolina goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo.
Eckel finished with three saves on the night to earn her sixth complete shutout of the season and the 14th of her career. She improved to 9-3-2 on the season.
Brown finished the game with four shots and two shots on goal in 48 minutes of action off the bench. Bono played 76 minutes and had two shots on goal.
D'Angelo made three saves in the loss falling to 1-5-2 on the year.
Tennessee will next play at Auburn on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on CSS and ESPN3 here. Former Lady Vol soccer player Cameron Broome (formerly Cameron Conway, UT defender 1999, 2001-02) is on the call for CSS.
The Lady Vols' next home game is Oct. 12 against Kentucky. Tickets for that game are just one dollar and the first 1,000 fans will receive free Lady Vol Soccer scarves.
NOTES: With the win, Tennessee improved its edge in the all-time series against South Carolina to 12-5-2 ... the win also marked UT's first win over USC in Columbia since a 3-1 Lady Vol victory on Oct. 3, 2004 ... Brown's game-winner was her third of 2012 and the 11th over her UT career, tying her with Kayla Lockaby (2001-04) for second on the all-time list. She trails record holder Kylee Rossi's (2005-08, record is 15) by just one.