Aug. 14, 2015
RALEIGH, N.C. – Sophomore forward Savannah McCaskill recorded three points and the Gamecocks allowed just one shot on goal, as No. 11 South Carolina moved past North Carolina State, 3-0, in its only exhibition match of the 2015 season on Friday night. The teams played three 30-minute periods in the match at Dail Soccer Field in Raleigh, N.C.
Each of South Carolina’s three goals were assisted, starting in the 33rd minute when junior midfielder Chelsea Drennan sent in a cross from the left side. Her pass found junior forward Daija Griffin, who headed the ball past N.C. State goalkeeper Sydney Wooten to give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead.
South Carolina pushed its advantage to 2-0 following another great pass from the corner. Sophomore forward Savannah McCaskill created the scoring opportunity, as she found Vanessa Kovar in the box. The junior forward gathered the pass before finding the back of the net to give South Carolina control of the match as the teams headed to the final period.
McCaskill found herself on the scoring end 20 minutes later, as she bent one past N.C. State keeper Mackenzie Stelljes in the 78th minute to make it 3-0. The Gamecock standout was one of four South Carolina players to be named to the SEC Preseason Watch List earlier this week.
The South Carolina defense produced a strong showing on Friday, and the Gamecocks finished the match with a 13-6 shot advantage. Senior Caroline Kelly and sophomore Abbey Crider split time in the net. Kelly finished with one save in 45 minutes of work.
McCaskill put the match out of reach late in the game following a goal from the top of the box. The sophomore forward found some space in the attacking third and curled in a great ball to beat Stelljes from 18 yards out.
Two of South Carolina’s goals came in the second 30-minute period. The Gamecocks recorded four shots and attempted three corner kicks during that stretch.
>> With Friday’s victory, the Gamecocks improved to 3-2 in their last five exhibition matches.
>> South Carolina opened the scoring on Friday following an assist by Drennan. The Gamecock midfielder has led South Carolina in assists in each of the last two seasons.
>> Freshmen Carrie Lawrence earned the start in the midfield in her debut for the Gamecocks. She played 60 minutes in the match.
South Carolina Head Coach Shelley Smith
“It was a great start to the season. We made a point to see a lot of players perform tonight as we sort out the best combinations to solidify our lineup. I was pleased with our overall performance tonight.”
South Carolina opens regular season play on Friday (Aug. 21) at home against Northeastern. Kick-off from Stone Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET.