Sept. 12, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – Behind a season-high three goals, No. 16 South Carolina improved to 6-1-0 on the season with a 3-0 victory over USF (3-3-1) on Friday night in Tampa, Fla. The action at Corbett Stadium was delayed an hour and a half due to weather.
With the Gamecocks controlling possession early, USF found a way into the attacking third in the 24th minute. Senior center back Taylor Leach made a strong play on Leticia Skeete, who has scored all three USF game-winners, at the corner of the six-yard box. The tackle stopped a bid for an early Bull’s goal.
A USF corner kick in the 27th minute led to a dangerous scrum in front of the goal line. Senior goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo kept tabs on the ball in the flurry of activity and finally came down with the save to keep the score 0-0. A minute later, freshman Savannah McCaskill nearly netted her first career goal, launching a ball that USF keeper Thordis Aikman deflected just wide with her fingertips.
Looking to equalize after the break, USF’s Olivia Chance made a run into the box in the 49th minute. In one of the most threatening chances of the night for the Bulls, Chance’s shot sent D’Angelo diving to her left for the save.
In the 52nd minute, South Carolina added to its lead on the foot of Chelsea Drennan. Drennan sent a corner kick into the box, which the Gamecocks didn’t initially convert. The Bulls couldn’t cleanly clear, and the sophomore found the net for a 2-0 edge.
On a USF corner kick in the 70th minute, the Bulls sent the ball back in on the rebound. With D’Angelo out of position after trying to take care of a cross, the South Carolina defense backed her up at the goal line. D’Angelo was forced to make another save just seconds later after a Gamecock turnover.
With just over six minutes remaining, McCaskill drove deep and flicked a ball high in the air to the far side of the goal. Sophomore Sophie Groff was on the other end, positioned by the post. With a defender on her, Groff got enough on the shot to get it past Aikman for the 3-0 lead.
South Carolina put seven of its 11 shots on frame and scored a season-high three goals.
- After missing the beginning of the season with an injury, junior Coryn Bajema notched her first goal of the season in the 32nd minute. Bajema returned to action just last weekend and recorded her seventh career goal tonight. Junior Bay Daniel earned the second assist of her career on the play.
- Sophomore Chelsea Drennan scored for the second-straight game in the 52nd minute. She has two goals on the season after netting just one her freshman season in the Garnet and Black.
- Sophomore Sophie Groff’s goal in the 84th minute is her third of the season, tying Raina Johnson for a team high.
- Freshman Savannah McCaskill was credited with the third assist of her career on Groff’s goal and has tallied an assist in two-straight matches. McCaskill and senior Andie Romness lead the team with three assists.
- Entering the night with 10 saves on the season, senior goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo recorded seven to notch the clean sheet tonight. With her sixth shutout of 2014, D’Angelo now has 25 career shutouts, second in school history (Mollie Patton, 31).
- The three Gamecock goals tonight is a season high.
- South Carolina is now 2-0 on the road this season.
- The Gamecocks were outshot for just the second time of the season.
South Carolina Head Coach Shelley Smith
I told the team that I was so proud of the way they performed; they played this whole match. That’s a good team. They are very good offensively and looked dangerous on every break. I thought we held it together very well and limited them to just a few chances. I thought our defense was wonderful, and Sabrina did well to come in and clean things up. She saw a little more action than usual tonight and comes away with another shutout.
South Carolina plays its final non-conference match of the season against Florida Gulf Coast University on Sunday. The neutral site match at USF’s Corbett Stadium is set to kick at 2 p.m.