Women’s Soccer Returns Home for Two SEC Contest 10/4/02

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After being away for one month and two days, the Vanderbilt women’s soccer finally returns for a weekend Southeastern Conference double-header against Florida and South Carolina. The Commodores will take on the Gators at 6 p.m. Friday, and then take on the Gamecocks at 1 p.m. Sunday – both games at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex.

Vanderbilt enters Friday’s contest with a 2-5 overall record and a 0-1 mark in the SEC. Florida enters with an overall record of 3-6-1 and a 0-1 mark in the SEC, while USC stands at 8-0-2 and 1-0 in the SEC. The Commodores have had mixed results against these two teams. The Gators lead the all-time series by a large margin of 10-2, but the Commodores have only dropped one of eight contests against the Gamecocks.

The Commodores, who dropped their SEC opener to Kentucky 2-1 last weekend in Lexington, are looking to get out of a scoring slump. In seven games, Vanderbilt has managed to score only eight goals and dish out three assists for a total of 19 points. Opponents have scored 11 goals and tallied 10 assists against the Commodores’ defense.

Senior Katharine Carroll and junior Michelle Bruntlett are the only two players who have managed to score two goals this season. In their seven games, the Commodores have outshot their opponents, 97-88.

Junior goalkeeper Esther Thompson has been solid in net for head coach Ronnie Hill. Thompson has allowed only nine goals, while recording 31 saves. The junior has allowed no more than two goals in any game this season.

Scouting the Gators

The University of Florida’s women’s soccer team is off to an uncharacteristic start having won only three of its first 10 games; however, this is due mostly in part to difficult non-conference schedule to kick off the season. The Gators have played five teams ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25, which includes games against Stanford, Santa Clara, Connecticut and Nebraska.

Florida’s offense has been centered on midfielder Crystal Frimpong, who leads the team with four goals. The unfortunate thing for head coach Becky Burleigh is that she might without the services of Frimpong, who suffered an injury against South Carolina last weekend.

Besides Frimpong, the Gators only have one other player who has two or more goals. Midfielder Dena Floyd has chipped in with two goals and two assists for a total of six points. For the season, the Gators have scored 11 goals and dished out 12 assists for a total of 34 points.

Senior Jordan Kellgren has been the only goal on the Florida roster to see action this season. In 10 games and 934 minutes, the senior has allowed 17 goals (1.64 goals against average) while collecting 45 saves. Kellgren has recorded two shutouts this season, which came against Nebraska and Syracuse.

Scouting the Gamecocks

Under the tutelage of head coach Shelley Smith, South Carolina is off to its best start since the 1999 season, when the Gamecocks began 9-2. Smith has received incredible balance from both her offense and defense so far this season.

From an offensive standpoint, the Gamecocks have already tallied 23 goals and dished out 21 assists for a total of 67 points in their 10 games. USC has also outshot its opponents by a substantial margin of 139-88. Forwards Morgan McIntyre and Ashley Williams have triggered the offense.

Morgan leads the team in goals (seven) and shots (24), while Williams has tallied five goals in 17 shots. These two players have been the ones to go-to in tight situations, as they have combined for five game-winning goals. Midfielders Melinda Carter and Jessica Julian have been vital part of South Carolina’s attack. Carter has registered three goals and three assists for nine points, while Julin has dished out five assists along with scoring two goals.

The Gamecocks’ defense has been like a brick wall up to this point, as they have allowed a mere six goals and four assists in 10 games (0.59 goals against average). The most goals USC has allowed in one game was two when it lost to Charlotte, 2-0.

Goalkeeper Elise Matthews has started and played in all 10 games this season. In these games, she has only surrendered four goals while recording an amazing 38 saves (9:1 ration of saves to goals against). Matthews’ goals against average stands at 0.53 and her save percentage is a stellar .905.

Quick Points Heading into Weekend Games
• The Commodores are combined 9-11 against this weekend’s opponents.
• Vanderbilt is looking to end an eight-game losing streak against Florida, while looking to extend its winning streak against South Carolina to four.
• Friday’s contest against Florida is only the second home game of the season for the Commodores. Vanderbilt opened up the season against St. Louis back on September 1, when it lost to St. Louis 1-0 in overtime.




Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)