Oct. 18, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. – On a cold, rainy night at Walton Stadium, No. 7 South Carolina (12-2-1, 5-2-0) fell 2-1 to Missouri (7-7-1, 3-3-1) as Alyssa Diggs hit the game-winner for the Tigers in the 79th minute with a curling shot inside the right post. It was only the second time this season that the Gamecocks have allowed more than one goal in a game.
South Carolina came out quick on offense as midfielders Gabrielle Gilbert and Chelsea Drennan each had a shot blocked in the third minute. In the 10th minute, Gilbert got on the end of bouncing ball at the top of the box and hit a low shot toward the left post forcing McKenzie Sauerwein into a diving stop.
The Gamecocks offense though was stymied after holding a 5-0 in shot advantage through the first 21 minutes. The Tigers began to put pressure on the Gamecocks backline with a shot high from midfielder Kaysie Clark and another wide forward Taylor Grant 30 seconds apart.
In the 27th minute, Missouri struck as Taylor Grant sent a corner into the six-yard box. Junior goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo went up to punch it out but with Tiger bodies crashing into her, the ball came off the wrong spot on her glove and ended up heading back toward the goal and landed in the back of the net.
Despite holding a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal, Carolina trailed for the third time this year going into the half, and the second time in as many weeks.
After weathering some pressure in the early minutes of the second 45 minutes, the Gamecocks nearly struck as the ball got caught in the middle of two Tiger defenders and their keeper. Gilbert ran into the box behind the defenders, slipped between them and put a touch on the ball toward the far post past Sauerwein, but it trickled just wide of the left post.
After Stevi Parker’s corner in the 69th minute was knocked back out, the sophomore midfielder sent a dangerous ball back into the six, but Daniel Au was not able to get a foot on the service before Sauerwein wrapped it up.
Minutes later, freshman forward Daija Griffin put on a display on the right side of the box as she went right, left and back to her right, got her marker on her on her heels and slid a pass into the middle of the box to fellow freshman Paige Bendell who calmly hit the ball toward the right side past Sauerwein for her first career goal. For Griffin, it was her third assist of the season.
Just over seven minutes later though, Missouri took the lead back as a long ball was sent to the left side which Diggs tracked down. The striker lined up shot from the top of the box and struck a curling ball that snuck just inside the far post past an outstretched D’Angelo.
South Carolina’s best opportunity to equalize came with just under seven minutes when junior defender Christa Neary sent a free kick from 45 yards out. Defender Andie Romness nearly got onto the end of the ball as it dropped outside the six just before Sauerwein grabbed the dangerous serve.
The Gamecocks held a 14-12 edge in shots in the match, doubling the Tigers in shots on frame 8-4. Gilbert, Johnson and Neary led Carolina with three shots apiece.
The Gamecocks look to get back on track Sunday as they travel to Ole Miss. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. ET at Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.