Aug. 3, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina women’s soccer will open the 2015 season ranked No. 11 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll. It is the program’s highest preseason ranking by the NSCAA, topping the previous best of No. 12 to start the 2010 season.
“Preseason rankings are as much about where your program is thought of historically as they are the upcoming season, so it’s exciting to see us in this position this season,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “We feel great about the team we’re bringing into this season and look forward to keeping our program in this position.”
The Gamecocks return 25 letterwinners from last season’s NCAA Elite Eight team, including their top five scorers. The six returning starters include top goal-scorer, junior forward Sophie Groff, and junior midfielder Chelsea Drennan, who recorded a team-high seven assists last season. SEC Freshman of the Year Savannah McCaskill is back in action after tying Groff for the team lead last season with 15 points (5G, 5A). Seniors Raina Johnson and Stevi Parker round out the top five scorers from a year ago.
South Carolina’s historic 2014 season included a final ranking of No. 9 in the NSCAA poll, matching the 2009 team’s mark for the best season-ending rank in program history. Last year’s 14-6-5 record included three wins and a tie against top-six teams.
The Gamecocks’ 2015 schedule features three games against other teams in the NSCAA preseason rankings as South Carolina travels to No. 22 Clemson (Aug. 28), hosts No. 5 Texas A&M (Sept. 24) and travels to No. 8 Florida (Oct. 22).
South Carolina begins practice on Wednesday to prepare for an exhibition match at NC State on Aug. 14. The Gamecocks open the regular season on Fri., Aug. 21, against Northeastern at 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium.
Season tickets are on sale now, with soccer fans yet again getting the best deal ever offered for tickets. For $25 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under, purchasers receive as season ticket to every women’s and men’s soccer match this season, 19 in all. In addition, season-ticket buyers receive an exclusive Gamecock Soccer scarf. To take advantage of the offer, call 800-472-3267 or click here today.