The South Carolina women's soccer team (6-2-0) lost 1-0 to the Tennessee Volunteers (4-3-1) in Friday night's winner-take-all game for the SEC East title.
In the first half, each team managed to get a few shots off but neither scored. In the 8th minute on a corner kick, freshman forward Catherine Barry had the opportunity to head the ball in the net, but it was blocked by the Volunteers.
In the 36th minute, with the ball in a crowded box, the Gamecocks managed to put the ball in the back of the net, but the goal was washed out due to an offside infraction.
Six minutes later, the Gamecocks were once again given an opportunity to score when senior defender Anna Patten managed to get a shot off a corner kick, but it was saved by the Volunteers.
The Gamecocks started the second half slow, letting Tennessee control most of the possessions. In the 50th minute, Tennessee senior defender Wrenne French managed to score on a corner kick off an assist from sophomore midfielder Claudia Dipasupil to put the Volunteers up 1-0.
Following the Volunteers' goal, the Gamecocks looked to get back in the game with hard physical play. They controlled most of the possessions for the rest of the half and got many shots at a game-tying goal.
The last attempt for the Gamecocks came in the 75th when freshman forward Corinna Zullo had a shot with a header that bounced off the crossbar.
"We had plenty of opportunities tonight, and we put ourselves in position, we just missed by some small margins," South Carolina head coach Shelly Smith said. "Unfortunately, one didn't go our way tonight, and sometimes that is just the game of soccer sometimes. Our team did a great job to compete and get opportunities in front of the goal and settle the game. Ultimately, it just didn't go our way."
The Gamecocks entered Friday's game seeking to clinch the SEC East title, the SEC regular-season title and a top-two seeding in the SEC tournament with a win. Instead, they finish second in the SEC East and will be a top-four seed in the SEC tournament.
"Tough result tonight. The team battled till the end but it was not our night. This hurts but we will gain strength from it, go back to work & be ready to compete at the SEC tourney in a week!," Smith tweeted after the game.
South Carolina will next play on Nov. 17 in the SEC quarterfinals at Orange Beach, Alabama.