Oct. 30, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – On a night the Gamecocks honored four seniors who have been the core of the defense throughout their careers, No. 20 South Carolina (12-4-3, 5-3-3 SEC) earned a 3-0 shutout win over Mississippi State (3-15-0, 0-11-0 SEC) in the regular-season finale on Thursday night at Stone Stadium.
After the Gamecocks got the shooting going in the third minute, it was the Bulldogs that got the match’s first shot on frame. In the fourth minute, Mallory Eubands found a streaking Shannen Jainudeen in the penalty area, but South Carolina keeper Sabrina D’Angelo met her inside the six-yard box and took the ball off her foot to keep the match scoreless.
Just six minutes later, South Carolina increased its lead on the foot of sophomore Sophie Groff. On a counterattack, freshman Savannah McCaskill touched a ball up to Groff. The Gamecock controlled it and fired from just over 25 yards out, tucking the ball over the keeper and under the bar for the 2-0 advantage.
Five minutes into the second half, Drennan served a ball into the box from the left side. McCaskill took the cross and hit a low shot to beat the keeper for an insurance goal, making the score 3-0 in the 50th minute.
After allowing just two shots in the first half, the Gamecocks saw just one after the break and were able to dip into their bench while preserving the shutout victory.
The Gamecocks got on the board early in the 12th minute courtesy of Lindsey Lane’s shot from just outside of the 18. The goal gave South Carolina a 1-0 lead and held up to be the gamewinner.
KEY STAT South Carolina limited the Bulldogs to just three shots all night, and just one on frame.
- The Gamecocks honored senior goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo as well as senior defenders Taylor Leach, Christa Neary and Andie Romness before the match. The group has combined for 265 starts and nearly 25,000 minutes of play as they have been the core of the Gamecock defense throughout their careers.
- For the 10th time this season, the Gamecocks held their opponent to two shots or less after seeing Mississippi State fire just two in the first 45 minutes.
- Redshirt freshman Lindsey Lane got the second goal of her career in the 12th minute. Both have been game-winners in SEC play.
- Sophomore Chelsea Drennan tallied her first multi-assist game of the season, getting credit for the helper on the goals from Lane and freshman Savannah McCaskill. Drennan leads the team with six assists and now has nine game-winning assists, second in school history. Her 18 total assists is good for third all-time.
- Both sophomore Sophie Groff and McCaskill recorded their team-leading fifth goal of the season in the match. McCaskill earned an assist on Groff’s goal and leads the team with 15 points on five goals and five assists. Groff is second on the team with 13 points (5g, 3a).
- Senior Sabrina D’Angelo recorded her 28th career shutout. She ranks second in school history behind Mollie Patton who owns 31.
- The shutout was the 37th of the Gamecock senior class’ career.
QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Shelley Smith
I’m thrilled to have another win in the SEC. Those were crucial points going into next week’s tournament. I’m proud of the performance. Everyone went in there and kept at it. We kept trying to play and play good soccer. I thought we created a ton of chances, which is tremendous. There were even more goals than we scored. What we created was excellent, and we limited them to very few chances. That’s all you can ask out of your team. It was a great effort.
UP NEXT South Carolina awaits the final SEC standings to learn its seed for the SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala. The field will be set on Thursday night once all conference games are completed, and the tournament begins Mon., Nov. 3 with the championship game set for Sun., Nov. 9.