No. 11 South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt for the first time since 1999, and the Gamecocks improved to a 9-0-0 with a 2-1 victory at Stone Stadium Friday night.
USC sophomore Kayla Grimsley extended her consecutive-match scoring streak to nine games.
The victory was the first for the Gamecocks against the Commodores (6-2-1) since a 1-0 win on Sept. 10, 1999. Sophomore transfer Kortney Rhoades scored her first goal as a Gamecock in the 16th minute via assists by Lindsay Small and Grimsley, and Brooke Jacobs hit the game-winner in the 52nd minute to give USC a win in its SEC opener.
"We worked hard for 90 minutes, played a very good Vanderbilt team and found a way to win the game," USC coach Shelley Smith said. "I'm really proud of our efforts. We scored an early goal, which takes a little pressure off when you get that cushion. Everyone stepped up."
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Nicole Luken scored for Vanderbilt at 88:59 after a defensive miscue to end the shutout streak for USC goalkeeper Mollie Patton at 778:31. Patton entered the match as the sole NCAA leader with seven solo shutouts on the year and came 61 seconds away from tying the USC career shutout mark and setting the single-season shutout mark.
"We came in undefeated and you go into the SEC hoping you'll continue the (winning) streak," Smith said. "I told Mollie she was going to get scored in the SEC. She's been tremendous. We're excited about her play, and she'll keep getting better."
The Gamecocks stifled the Vanderbilt attack throughout the night, limiting the Commodores to eight shots. Vanderbilt's only shot on goal was the score by Lukens, a header in the box that reached past Patton's hands.
Davidson downs USC 4-1
At Davidson, N.C., USC (4-2-1) fell to Davidson 4-1 despite outshooting the Wildcats 16-11.
Junior midfielder Mike Lindsay scored the Gamecocks' goal. The University of South Carolina men's soccer team (4-2-1) suffered a 4-1 loss to Davidson (6-1-0) on Friday evening at Alumni Field in Davidson.
Alex Caskey led the Davidson (6-1-0) attack with two goals.