USC Women's Soccer Drops SEC Tournament Championship Game - DatelineCarolina

USC Women's Soccer Loses SEC Tournament Championship Game

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Junior forward Kayla Grimsley leads the team with goals. Junior forward Kayla Grimsley leads the team with goals.

By: Jessie Knaak

The South Carolina Gamecocks had a chance, but lost to the FLorida Gators in the SEC women's soccer championship match Sunday afternoon. The championship game appearance was the second consecutive one for the second-seeded South Carolina.

Florida beat USC last week in the final game of the year to take the regular season title 1-0 on a penalty kick, and the Gamecocks were looking for revenge Sunday.  

The Gamecocks (14-5-4) put up a tough battle against the top-seed Gators (18-2-2). Florida went ahead 1-0 at 68:07 courtesy of a South Carolina "own goal". Florida sent a cross shot into the penalty area that was broken up by the Gamecock defense. Goalkeeper Mollie Patton tried to catch the ball, but her final touch deflected into the net to give the Gators a lead.

"I told them I'm proud of them," said South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith. "They left everything they had on the field today."

Carolina applied pressure early with two good plays across the frame in the opening minutes. Maria Petroni tracked a ball down on the right flank and crossed to Brooke Jacobs for a header that required a save by the keeper.

South Carolina seniors Mollie Patton and Brittiny Rhoades and junior Kayla Grimsley were each named to the SEC All-Tournament team.

The Gamecocks were selected to advance into the NCAA tournament bracket.  They'll meet UNC Greensboro (19-1-1) in the first tame of the Charlotte Regional on Friday night. The winner of that game will meet either Virginia or Lehigh on Sunday for the regional title.

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