SEC Women: Florida hands South Carolina first loss

No. 2 South Carolina, the sole unbeaten team entering the final week of the women's regular season, fell to Florida, 1-0, in the SEC semifinals at the Orange Beach Sports Complex. The loss snapped a program-record 18-match winning streak for the Gamecocks, who will head into NCAA Tournament play at 18-1-1 on the season.

The Gators opened the scoring in the 19th minute after Florida midfielder Mayra Pelayo curled in a shot from the right side that dinged off the crossbar. Gator striker Savannah Jordan took advantage of the rebound, heading the ball into the net past Gamecock defender Paige Bendell to put Florida up 1-0.

Jordan’s goal is her 14th of 2016 and the 79th of her career. making her one of seven players to reach that mark since 2000.

“We knew we were going to get some chances," said Gator coach Becky Burleigh. "That was a great chance. Mayra did some good stuff out wide to create it and then Savannah was there for the finish. I think she felt really comfortable in this game. She was a little banged up in the last one [shootout win over Missouri], but she recovered. So it was good to see her get one in."

Florida and Arkansas meet Sunday in the SEC Tournament final. Arkansas advanced to its first SEC Tournament final in 20 seasons after its 3-1 win over Auburn.
 
Florida has won 11 titles SEC titles, including the 2015 crown. This is the 17th time in the program’s 22 SEC Tournament appearances that Florida has advanced to the final match.
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