Oct. 10, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The No. 10 South Carolina women’s soccer team travels to Oxford, Miss. on Sun., Oct. 11 for a SEC matchup with Ole Miss. Kickoff between the Gamecocks and the Rebels is set for 8 p.m. ET from Ole Miss Soccer Stadium.
Leading the Nation
Through eight games at Stone Stadium, the Gamecocks are leading the nation in home attendance with 24,644 total fans. South Carolina’s average of 3,083 per contest ranks third in the nation. The Gamecocks sold 1,000 season tickets for the first time in program history. (Men and women’s soccer season tickets are sold together as one ticket)
Atop The SEC
South Carolina leads the SEC with 16 points and has a four point advantage over Auburn and Texas A&M who are tied for second. The Gamecocks (5-0-1) are the only remaining unbeaten team in league play.
Offense on Fire
Through 13 games this season South Carolina has scored 35 goals compared to last year’s squad that netted 32 all season. The Gamecocks have had 15 different goal scorers, which is the most of any SEC school.
In the Rankings
The Gamecocks are No. 10 in the latest NSCAA rankings, No. 12 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com poll and ranked seventh by Soccer America. South Carolina is No. 15 in the latest RPI released by the NCAA.
The Gamecocks are riding a 10-game unbeaten streak, including six-straight in SEC contests heading into Sunday’s match. South Carolina went unbeaten for 14 consecutive games in 2009 and had an eight-game winning streak in SEC matches in 2011.
The Gamecocks defeated No. 8 Auburn 2-0 on Thursday night at Stone Stadium with first half goals from Savannah McCaskill and Raina Johnson. With the victory, South Carolina pushed its unbeaten streak to 10 matches and remained atop the league standings. Sophomore goalkeeper Abbey Crider (6-0-0) remained perfect on the season for a Gamecock team that recorded its third clean sheet in SEC play this season.
By The Numbers
South Carolina holds a 209-91 shot advantage over opponents through 13 games. The Gamecocks have put 108 of 209 shots on target, compared to opponents getting just 36 shots on goal. South Carolina averages 16.1 shots per game and is outscoring opponents 35-11. Averaging 2.69 goals per contest, the Gamecocks have ninth highest scoring offense in the country while their 98 points and 35 goals tie for fourth and fifth, respectively.
South Carolina’s 104 points rank first in the SEC while its 35 goals tie for second. The Gamecocks rank first in assists (34) and assists per game (2.62), tie for first in the conference goals per game (2.69) and their 209 shots tie for the sixth most in the league. South Carolina is tied for third in fewest goals allowed with 11 and has the fourth best goals against average (0.82).
In SEC contests the Gamecocks have allowed the fewest goals of any team with four, boast the lowest goals against average of 0.64 and one of only three teams to record three shutouts against league opponents. South Carolina ties for first in points (39), goals (13), goals per game (2.17), ranks second in assists (13) and assists per game (2.17) and has tallied the sixth most shots (84).
The Rebels improved to 9-3-2 on the season and 3-3-0 in the SEC after a 2-1 (2OT) victory at Arkansas on Friday. CeCe Kizer leads the team with 11 goals and 22 points. The freshman’s 11 goals tied for the second most in the SEC. Ole Miss has netted 11 goals against conference opponents, the fifth most in the league. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Marnie Merritt has started all 14 contests for the Rebels. She’s allowed 18 goals on the year while making 50 saves.
South Carolina leads the all-time series with Ole Miss 9-4-3. The Gamecocks won last meeting with the Rebels on Oct. 19, 2014. Lindsey Lane netted the game-winner in the 2-0 victory.
The Gamecocks’ 3-1 victory over Georgia on Sept. 11 was Head Coach Shelley Smith 175th win at South Carolina. With the Gamecocks’ victory over Auburn she has 180 wins at South Carolina and 221 in her career.
McCaskill In The Lead
Forward Savannah McCaskill leads South Carolina in goals (9), points (23), shots (30), and shots on goal (18). The sophomore has also tallied five assists. She is tied for fourth in the SEC in goals and ranks third in points. McCaskill, who was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2014, has nearly doubled her scoring output of five goals from her rookie campaign.
Assisted By Drennan
Junior midfielder Chelsea Drennan has recorded a team-high eight assists. Her 27 career assists rank second all-time in school history and she just six shy of the school record (33). Drennan’s eight assists and 0.62 assists per game are rank first in the league.
Johnson Wins The Game
Senior forward Raina Johnson netted the game-winner in South Carolina’s matches against Texas A&M and Alabama. Johnson scored in the 89th minute to break a 1-1 tie in the Gamecocks’ 2-1 victory over the Aggies and opened scoring in the sixth minute in a 3-0 win over the Crimson Tide. She has now tallied a point in four straight matches.
Two For Groff
Junior forward Sophie Groff scored a pair of goals in two games this season (Coastal Carolina and Kennesaw State), including a game-winner in both contests. Groff also scored in the Gamecocks 3-0 win over Alabama. Her six goals and 16 points tie for 10th in the SEC and in conference matches she is tied for fourth with six points and two goals.
Rookies Are Rolling
Newcomers Carrie Lawrence, Courtney Kaplan and Simone Wark have found the back of the net early in their freshman campaigns, each tallying at least one goal this season. Wark scored the game-winner in the Gamecocks’ 1-0 win at Missouri and earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for her efforts. She also netted the equalizer in a 2-2 draw at Arkansas.
Room For Two
Senior Caroline Kelly and sophomore Abbey Crider have split time in the net this season. Crider is perfect 6-0-0 on the year with three shutouts. She has made 11 saves and has a goals against average of 0.71. Crider earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for her performance against Texas A&M and Alabama. Kelly is 5-1-1 on the year with one shutout. She has made 13 saves and has a goals against average of 0.94. In SEC contests, Crider leads the league with a goals against average of 0.57 while Kelly ranks third (0.73). Crider’s two shutouts against conference opponents tie for second.
Home Field Advantage
The Gamecocks are undefeated (8-0) at Stone Stadium in 2015. South Carolina posted an 8-3-1 record at “The Graveyard” last season and in 2013 the Gamecocks streaked to a perfect 11-0-0 record at home, the first in program history.
It’s A First
The Fast Lane
Sophomore midfielder Lindsey Lane netted the game winner in the Gamecocks’ double overtime victory over Oklahoma. Three of Lane’s four career goals have been game- winners.
Gray For The Win
Senior defender Caroline Gray scored the game-winner in South Carolina’s season opener against Northeastern; the goal was the first of her career.
South Carolina returns home to host Vanderbilt on Fri., Oct. 16 at Stone Stadium. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. and will be available on SEC Network +. The Gamecocks then hit the road, traveling to Florida on Thurs., Oct. 22 and LSU on Sun, Oct. 25 before closing out the 2015 season at home when they host Tennessee on Thurs. Oct. 29.