Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Nov. 26, 2014

No. 18 South Carolina will spend Thanksgiving in Tallahassee, Fla., as they prepare to face No. 2 Florida State in the program’s first-ever NCAA Quarterfinal on Fri., Nov. 28, at 2 p.m. The winner of the match earns a trip to the College Cup as one of the final four teams left standing in this season’s NCAA Tournament. There will be no broadcast of the contest, but live stats will be available through

Date/Opponent: Fri., Nov. 28, vs. No. 2 Florida State
Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET
Stadium: Seminole Soccer Complex
Location: Tallahassee, Fla.
Live Stats
Ticket Info

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Riding a seven-game win streak and a school record 18-game unbeaten run, Florida State is seeking its third straight trip to the College Cup. Last season’s national runner up, the Seminoles returned a bulk of their roster and continued their success this season, posting a 21-1-1 record and a 9-0-1 mark in ACC play. The well-rounded team has scored 62 goals this year while allowing just nine. In conference play, FSU allowed just two goals and has posted seven shutouts in the last nine games. The Seminoles have not been shutout this season.

Dagny Brynjarsdottir leads the team with 16 goals and 36 points. Brynjarsdottir puts nearly 60 percent of her shots on frame and has scored twice in NCAA play. Her fellow Icelandic native Berglind Thorvaldsdottir is just behind her with 11 goals while Cheyna Williams has pocketed a pair of NCAA scores to bring her season total to 10. Florida State is third in the country with 78 assists. Megan Campbell and Carson Pickett lead the way with 12 and 11 helpers, respectively.

Cassie Miller has played every minute in the net, allowing just nine goals this season to rank third nationally in goals against average at 0.38. With a solid backline in front of her, Miller has been forced to make just 41 saves.

One of the tournament’s four No. 1 seeds, FSU earned the ACC’s automatic bid after capturing its third conference tournament championship in four seasons. In the opening round, South Alabama kept the Seminoles off the board for the first 44 minutes, but ultimately fell, 5-0, after FSU found the back of the net five times in 34 minutes. Against Northeastern in the second round, the Seminoles returned to the Sweet 16 with a 3-0 decision. Last Sunday, it took nearly 60 minutes of play, but Florida State found the game-winner in a 1-0 contest against Central Florida.

Both the Gamecocks and Seminoles hosted Florida and took on North Carolina on the road this season. South Carolina went 2-0 against the foes, posting a thrilling 3-2 win over Florida at Stone Stadium on Oct. 16 and advancing to the Elite Eight with a 1-0 win at UNC’s Fetzer Field. The matches against the common opponents are the only blemishes on the Seminoles’ record. FSU fell to rival Florida, 2-1, at home on Sept. 5 and tied the Tar Heels 1-1 on Oct. 23 in Chapel Hill.

The Gamecocks and Seminoles have played just once, a 2008 3-3 tie in Auburn, Ala., in the Auburn Soccer Classic. Florida State was ranked No. 7 in the country in the contest.

In 24 games this season, the Gamecocks have posted 13 shutouts, including three straight in the NCAA Tournament. Just four teams still standing have yet to allow a goal in this season’s tournament, South Carolina, Florida State, Virginia and UCLA. The teams match up against each other in two of the national quarterfinals. The Gamecocks have allowed 13 goals this season, good enough for a 0.510 goals against average (8th nationally). Over the last 400 minutes of play, South Carolina has allowed just one goal – an 87th minute strike from Texas A&M in the SEC Semifinals. In the stretch of four games, the Gamecocks have faced three ranked opponents – No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 22 Clemson and No. 6 North Carolina. The lone unranked opponent in the run was Seattle in the NCAA Second Round, a team that boasted the No. 3 offense in the country with 68 goals.

When All-American goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo went down with an injury in training before the weekend, Abbey Crider earned her first career start against Seattle. Logging just 56 minutes this season with all-everything D’Angelo firmly entrenched in front of her, Crider had some big shoes to fill. She rose to the occasion, notching her first career shutout in the double-overtime result vs. Seattle and made two saves in the penalty shootout to help the Gamecocks advance. In the Round of 16, Crider shutout the vaunted Tar Heels in her second career start. The netminder was peppered with five of North Carolina’s six second-half shots in the final 15 minutes of play and secured the victory by making a save on a point-blank shot from Paige Broyles. Crider was named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week for her shutout weekend.

While every other team in the quarterfinals has scored at least seven goals, the Gamecocks have reached the program’s first quarterfinal by scoring just one goal. Against bitter rival Clemson, the match seemed destined to go to penalty kicks with a pair of all-conference goalkeepers in between the posts. After 110 minutes of scoreless action and one combined shot on goal, the Gamecocks dispatched the No. 22 Tigers in PKs, 4-3, after Sabrina D’Angelo came up with a pair of saves and all four of her teammates converted their PKs. In the second round, forced to play without D’Angelo, the Gamecocks held Seattle, who had scored 68 goals this season, scoreless, despite playing down a man for both overtime periods. In the shootout, the Redhawks missed two while freshman Abbey Crider, who had stepped in for D’Angelo, saved two. The Gamecocks were not as successful as they were in the week before, but housed two of five opportunities to advance. Against the No. 6 Tar Heels South Carolina found the back of the net for the first time in 366 minutes when Raina Johnson snuck a shot inside the right post. The 23rd minute tally stood up to be Johnson’s fourth game-winning goal of the season.

In order to make their first-ever NCAA Quarterfinal, the Gamecocks had to go through No. 6 North Carolina, the owners of 21 national championships, on its home field. Playing without the injured Sabrina D’Angelo in goal and Taylor Leach, who was shown a red in the previous match, South Carolina took it to the Tar Heels. In a dominate first half, the Gamecocks found the back of the net for the first time in 366 minutes of play when Raina Johnson snuck a shot in past Tar Heel keeper Bryane Haeberlin at the right post in the 23rd minute. South Carolina’s only goal of the tournament stood up to be the game-winner after the Gamecocks withstood a furious North Carolina attack. Unleashing five of their six second-half shots in the last 15 minutes, the Tar Heels tried to extend the game. The backline deflected a pair of shots and with just 37 seconds on the clock, Joanna Boyles rocketed a point-blank shot towards Abbey Crider. The freshman blocked the shot with her body and wrapped it up to preserve the shutout victory.

After the 1-0 win over No. 6 North Carolina in the Round of 16, the Gamecocks are the only NCAA program with an all-time series edge on the Tar Heels. South Carolina now leads UNC, 2-1 all-time and has won two-straight contests at Fetzer Field. After North Carolina routed the Gamecocks 9-1 in 2000, South Carolina leveled the series with a 1-0 decision in the 2007 season opener in Chapel Hill for the program’s first win over a top-ranked program. The contest snapped a 27-game Tar Heel winning streak.

In the program’s second NCAA Round of 16, the Gamecocks advanced to their first national quarterfinal. Shelley Smith’s squad broke new ground in 2009, earning the first national seed in school history and hosting three rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Wake Forest scored in the final seconds of the match to claim a 1-0 win and move on to the Elite Eight. This season, South Carolina has eliminated rival No. 22 Clemson (0-0. 4-3 PKs), the No. 3 offense in the country in Seattle (0-0, 2-1 PKs) and No. 6 North Carolina, the most successful program in the history of women’s soccer, to clinch its first quarterfinal berth. This year is the Gamecocks’ seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the last eight years.

In the last 10 years, no SEC team has advanced out of the Round of 16. In a 90-minute stretch on Sunday, three league teams punched their tickets to the NCAA Quarterfinals. No. 3 seed South Carolina, No. 2 Florida and No. 1 Texas A&M will represent the conference this weekend as they lead the nation with three of the eight teams still standing.

Last Sunday, South Carolina faced an uphill battle when it took the field without either of its senior team captains Sabrina D’Angelo and Taylor Leach in their regular roles. The All-American goalkeeper D’Angelo is not able to play in goal after suffering an arm injury in training last week, but is an available as a field player. Leach picked up two yellow cards, one coming in the final minute of regulation, against Seattle in the second round. The cautions meant a red card and the centerback had to sit Sunday’s contest. The pair has earned First-Team All-SEC honors the last two seasons. Leach will be back in her normal starting position against the Seminoles.

In the second round, the Gamecocks yet again played 110 minutes of scoreless soccer and went to a shootout for the second time in as many games. South Carolina was forced to play a man down for the entirety of overtime after Taylor Leach picked up her second yellow of the match in the 90th minute. The Gamecocks stayed with the same penalty kick order as last week’s shootout against Clemson, but the story was not the same. Down 0-1 after the first two rounds, Abbey Crider made a diving save to her right and Lindsey Lane converted to level the contest. Seattle’s Kiana Kraft clanked her opportunity off the left post and the Redhawk keeper Brianna Smallidge saved Bay Daniel’s shot to keep the score 1-all after four rounds. Crider made a spectacular save to her right on Stephanie Spiekerman’s chance and put the game on Chelsea Drennan’s foot. The Gamecocks clinched last week’s PKs before Drennan had the opportunity to shoot. This week she calmly stepped up to the spot and powered a kick low and left to advance South Carolina to the Round of 16.

Last Friday, South Carolina and rival Clemson met for the first time ever in the postseason and delivered the drama. After playing 110 minutes with just one shot on goal between them, the teams went on to penalty kicks. A pair of all-conference first teamers in Gamecock keeper Sabrina D’Angelo and her Canadian compatriot Kailen Sheridan of Clemson, took the line for a shootout. Tied at 2-2 after two rounds, D’Angelo went diving to her right and saved Claire Wagner’s attempt. Lindsey Lane consolidated the save with her make to put South Carolina up 3-2. Tiger Jenna Weston and Gamecock Bay Daniel were true in the fourth round to make the score 4-3. Needing a make to stay in the shootout, Gabby Byorth sent the ball right, but D’Angelo read it perfectly tipping it away to advance South Carolina to the second round and avenge an 0-1 regular-season loss.

After back-to-back shootouts to open the NCAA Tournament, South Carolina has gone to penalty kicks just seven times in program history, advancing on five occasions. In the NCAA Tournament, the Gamecocks are 2-1 in PKs after dispatching Clemson in the first round and Seattle in the second.

After back-to-back draws and a win over North Carolina to reach the quarterfinals, the Gamecocks are 6-6-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, South Carolina picked up a 5-0 win over Furman first round action. Prior to last fall, the Gamecocks’ last NCAA Tournament win came in 2011, with a 1-0 win over Texas. South Carolina saw its deepest run in 2009 when the team reached the Round of 16, where the team fell to Wake Forest, 1-0, in the final seconds of regulation at Stone Stadium.