The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

The Gamecocks advance to the semifinals

2799 days ago
Sean Cartell | SEC
Photo: Jim Burgess

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -- South Carolina's Stevi Parker and Sophie Groff turned in a pair of timely goals to lead the fifth-seeded Gamecocks to a 2-1 win against fourth-seeded Missouri on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Soccer Tournament at the Orange Beach SportsPlex.

The Gamecocks (13-4-3) avenged a loss to Missouri from earlier in the season and controlled the tempo for the majority of the match. South Carolina out-shot Missouri 13-12.

"I was very pleased with our performance tonight," South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. "I thought we came out and played very well for the majority of the game. I thought we were well in control and we limited them to few opportunities."

South Carolina took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at intermission following Parker's third goal of the season in the 24th minute.

"Last time we played Missouri, we struggled to find the back of the net and we lost 1-0," Smith said. "We had a better performance than that result. We were obviously very pleased - when you score first, it puts a little pressure on your opponent and it definitely puts you off on the right foot. We were thrilled to get the first goal."

In the second half, Groff beat her defender and knocked in her sixth goal of the season in the 57th minute to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 advantage. Missouri scored its lone goal in the 87th minute when Kaysie Clark found Alli Magaletta off a cross.

The Gamecocks advance to face top-seeded Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament Semifinals at 3:30 p.m. CT Friday in a match televised by the SEC Network.

Missouri drops to 11-6-3 with the loss.

"South Carolina is a good team and we've faced them, beating them 1-0 in the regular season," Mizzou head coach Bryan Blitz said. "We knew coming into this game between the 4 and 5 seeds, we knew it would be a tough game. I thought that we didn't come out as quick as they did and we started to chase the game. I was proud of our team to fight back and get a goal, and almost tie it. We'll learn from it, move forward and we'll take what we can to next week for the NCAA Tournament."