Sept. 14, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina forwards Savannah McCaskill and Sophie Groff each recorded a brace to lead the No. 17 Gamecocks to a 6-0 win over Kennesaw State in Monday night’s non-conference finale at Stone Stadium. The victory pushed South Carolina’s (7-1-0, 1-0-0 SEC) winning streak to five games, while the Owls fell to 3-4-1 on the year.
The Gamecocks, who scored at least six goals in a match for the first time since 2010 (7-0 win over Mississippi State) built a comfortable lead in the early going, netting three scores in the first nine minutes. McCaskill tallied two goals during that stretch, as she pushed her team-leading scoring total to seven goals. The forward’s first goal came on a breakaway when she charged into the box and calmly slipped the ball into the right corner of the net past Kennesaw State goalkeeper Ashley Zampetti.
South Carolina pushed its lead to 3-0 less than five minutes later following a great pass into the box from senior Raina Johnson. The forward created some space on the right side of the box and chipped in a pass that eventually found McCaskill, who curled in a shot in between defenders and into the back of the net.
Groff’s fourth goal of the season opened the scoring in the second minute, and the Gamecocks led 3-0 at the break. Her second score of the night came in the 52nd minute after McCaskill threaded a cross from the right side of the box. Her pass found sophomore Lindsey Lane, and the midfielder fired at goal before her shot was eventually punched into the net by Groff.
Forward Bay Daniel and midfielder Carrie Lawrence provided the exclamation points late in the match, as each Gamecock netted their first goals of the season. Daniel scored following a defensive miscue from the Owls, while Lawrence’s first career goal came off a free kick from just outside of the box.
Goalkeepers Caroline Kelly and Abbey Crider each played 45 minutes in net for the Gamecocks, who allowed just two shots on the night. South Carolina finished with 24 shots and attempted 10 corner kicks.
McCaskill’s second goal of the night gave the Gamecocks a 3-0 lead and control of the match early in the first half. The sophomore’s performance marked her second career multi-goal game.
KEY STAT South Carolina boasted a 14-1 advantage in shots on goal. Kennesaw State’s first shot attempt didn’t come until less than 10 minutes into the match.
- The Gamecocks remained a perfect 5-0 at home this season following Monday’s win.
- South Carolina has outscored its opponents, 17-4, at Stone Stadium in 2015.
- With two more goals, McCaskill exceeded her scoring output (5) from a season ago. The forward’s five points against the Owls were a career high.
- South Carolina has now scored at least three goals in three straight matches. The Gamecocks last accomplished that feat during the 2011 season.
- Kelly earned her first career shutout for the Gamecocks on Monday. The senior sports a record of 4-1 on the season.
QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Shelley Smith
As a team we came out and played very well. We scored early and kept the pressure up as the match went on. We were able to bring in some different combinations of players and that was big for us.
The Gamecocks resume conference play on Sunday when they face Missouri on the road. Kick-off from Audrey J. Walton Soccer Stadium is set for 3 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on ESPNU.