Nov. 6, 2014
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – Fifth-seeded South Carolina (13-4-3) held off a late rally to take down No. 4 seed Missouri (11-6-3) 2-1 in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday night at the Orange Beach Sportsplex. Junior Stevi Parker and sophomore Sophie Groff scored to give the Gamecocks their first-ever win over the Tigers.
Sophomore Chelsea Drennan touched a rebound back to Parker who was waiting just outside of the penalty area. Parker fired a low ball that sent Missouri goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwine diving to her right. The shot found net, and the Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.
Just three minutes later, the Tigers looked to equalize. Taylor Grant found Kaysie Clark in the box, but the shot went straight to South Carolina keeper Sabrina D’Angelo. It was Missouri’s lone shot on goal of the first half.
In the 58th minute, South Carolina struck again. Freshman Savannah McCaskill hit Groff who had released down the right side in the 58th minute. Groff created some space from her defender and sent a left-footed shot to the inside post for the 2-0 lead.
Looking to respond quickly, Missouri’s Reagan Russell fired a hard shot from the top of the 18 less than two minutes later that D’Angelo was forced to tip over the crossbar.
McCaskill swung a shot from distance in for the Gamecocks in the 80th minute. Sauerwine saved the chance, but it spilled out of her hands. Sophomore Daija Griffin tried to put the rebound in, but was unsuccessful.
With just four minutes to go, Kaysie Clark ran down the left side towards the endline and sent a cross to the far post. Allie Magaletta tucked it just inside the post to cut the South Carolina lead in half as the clock ticked down. Minutes later, Magaletta did her best to even the score after winning a ball and sending a long shot just outside of the post and the Gamecocks held on for the win.
After scoring just one goal in three meetings with Missouri all-time, the Gamecocks got on the board early thanks to a strike from Stevi Parker in the 24th minute.
KEY STAT South Carolina put eight of its 13 shots on goal.
- Junior Stevi Parker scored her third goal of the season in the 24th minute. All three of Parker’s goals have come against conference opponents.
- Sophomore Chelsea Drennan recorded her seventh assist of the season on the play. It is the 19th assist of the Gamecock’s young career, good enough for third in school history.
- Sophomore Sophie Groff added her sixth goal of the season in the 57th minute. The total leads the Gamecocks this season.
- Entering the night, Missouri had out-scored the Gamecocks 4-1 in the previous three meetings in the series.
- Freshman Savannah McCaskill put two of her team-high four shots on goal. Both of Drennan’s shots were on frame.
- Tonight’s win was the Gamecocks’ first result against the Tigers in four meetings.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Idc what sport it is, it’s always good when the Gamecocks are winning/win @GamecockWSoccer
— Evan Cohen (@EvanCohen99) November 6, 2014
QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Shelley Smith
I was very pleased with our performance tonight. I thought we came out and played very well. For the majority of the game, I thought we kept the ball. When we did keep the ball, I thought we were in control. We limited them to few opportunities. There was some sloppy play, especially towards the end. We didn’t handle the pressure Missouri brought to finish the game off. Overall, I’m very pleased with the win and I’m happy to be advancing.
UP NEXT The Gamecocks will face Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament semifinals for the second year in a row on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET. The SEC Network will broadcast the contest. The Gamecocks and Aggies tied 1-1 in the regular-season meeting between the schools.