Nov. 1, 2006
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. --- South Carolina and Vanderbilt battled to a 1-1 overtime tie Wednesday night in Southeastern Conference soccer tournament action at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex. The Gamecocks won the penalty kick shootout, 4-3, to advance to the SEC tournament semifinals on Friday against No. 1 seed Florida.
The Commodores (10-4-6) dominated possession throughout the game, holding a 9-5 shot advantage, but could not capitalize on their scoring opportunities.
"We played very hard and we played very well tonight," said Vanderbilt head coach Ronnie Coveleskie. "We hit the post three times. Sometimes you get unlucky, this game can be very cruel. There are no excuses. We simply didn't find a way to score a goal. We're disappointed that we're going home, but I'm proud of the effort."
Lea Lafield opened the scoring seven minutes into the game when she took a sharp feed from Amy Baumann and kicked it in from just outside the five-yard box. It was Lafield's seventh goal of the year and first since scoring two against South Carolina in Nashville on Oct. 8.
The Gamecocks tied the game on an own goal by Vanderbilt as defender Monica Buff deflected it in while trying to regain possession for the Commodores.
VU had a quick flurry of chances to win the game in overtime but one shot hit the crossbar and another by Amy Baumann was saved by USC keeper Laura Armstrong right in front of the goal. Neither team had much offense in the second overtime as the game ended in a tie.
Baumann started the penalty kick shootout for the Commodores and her shot was blocked by Armstrong. Armstrong then scored past VU keeper Tyler Griffin to give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead. The teams alternated successful kicks the next three chances to make it 4-3 USC with one shot left for the Commodores. Brett Healy's attempt to tie was short and saved by Armstrong to give the Gamecocks the PK advantage.
Sarah Dennis led VU with four shots, while Ashley Kirk led USC with two of the team's five shots.
The Commodores will now await their NCAA postseason fate with the NCAA tournament selection show set for Monday between 2-3 p.m. on ESPNews.
"Do I think we're one of the best 64 teams in the country?" stated Coveleskie when asked about the Commodores tournament chances. "Absolutely. We'll be sitting there on pins and needles watching the selection show on Monday."
VU: Lea Lafield (Amy Baumann) (6:42)
USC: Own Goal (16:12)