Oct. 15, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s soccer team returns home, hosting Vanderbilt on Fri., Oct. 16 at Stone Stadium. Kickoff for the match is set for 7 p.m.
Playing For A Crowd
Through eight games at Stone Stadium, the Gamecocks rank third in the nation in home attendance with 24,644 total fans and an average of 3,083 per contest. 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 one-point advantage over Auburn, who sits it second place with 15 points. The Gamecocks (5-1-1) are the only team with just one conference loss this season.
Offense on Fire
Through 14 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. 8 in the latest NSCAA rankings, No. 10 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com poll and ranked 12th by Soccer America. South Carolina is No. 17 in the latest RPI released by the NCAA.
Last week’s loss at Ole Miss broke a 10-game unbeaten streak, including six-straight in SEC contests the Gamecocks During the 10-game stretch the Gamecocks won eight consecutive matches and were 9-0-1 overall.
The Gamecocks defeated No. 8 Auburn 2-0 last 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. The Gamecocks held the Tigers scoreless for the first time this season. Senior Raina Johnson tallied a point for the fourth consecutive game.
Last Sunday the Gamecocks suffered their fist loss in SEC play, falling 2-0 at Ole Miss. Ole Miss took an early 1-0 lead on a goal from Georgia Russell. The junior’s shot from 15 yards out deflected off of Abbey Crider, rolling through her legs and into the back of the net. The Rebels increased their lead to 2-0 on a 90th minute goal by Addie Forbus, who tapped in her own rebound for a score. The Gamecocks tallied a season-low six shots throughout the match, only one of which came in the second half. Crider suffered the loss and fell to 6-1-0 on the year. Crider and senior Caroline Kelly split time in the net for the first time since the Kennesaw State match on Sept. 14. The match marked the first time the Gamecocks have been shutout since a 5-0 loss to Florida State on Nov. 28, 2014 in the NCAA Quarterfinal.
By The Numbers
South Carolina holds a 215-100 shot advantage over opponents through 14 games. The Gamecocks have put 112 of 215 shots on target, compared to opponents getting just 41 shots on goal. South Carolina averages 15.4 shots per game and is outscoring opponents 35-13. Averaging 2.50 goals per contest, the Gamecocks have 11th highest scoring offense in the country while their 105 points and 35 goals tie for 9th and 12th, respectively.
South Carolina’s 105 points and 35 goals rank second and third, respectively, in the SEC. The Gamecocks rank first in assists (34) and assists per game (2.43), second in goals per game (2.50) and their 215 shots tie for the eighth most in the league. South Carolina is tied for fourth in fewest goals allowed with 13 and has the fifth best goals against average (0.90).
In SEC contests the Gamecocks are tied for first in fewest goals allowed with six, boast the second lowest goals against average of 0.83 and one of only four teams to record three shutouts against league opponents. South Carolina ranks third in points (39), assists (13) and assists per game (1.86,) tied for third in goals (13) and goals per game (1.86), and has tallied the eighth most shots (90).
Vanderbilt is 6-5-4 on the year in 2-2-3 in SEC play. The Commodores are riding a four-game unbeaten streak (1-0-3) into Friday’s contest. During that stretch, Vanderbilt earned a 1-1 (2OT) draw against Tennessee, followed by back-to-back 0-0 (2OT) matches at LSU and then 20th ranked Kentucky and flowed with a 1-0 win over Arkansas last week. In conference matches, the Commodores are tied with the Gamecocks for first in fewest goals allowed (6) and have the lowest goals against average (0.78). Junior forward Simone Charley leads the team with four goals and three assists.
Vanderbilt leads the all-time series 13-4-5. The Gamecocks have a six-game unbeaten streak against the Commodores, including winning the last three contests at Stone Stadium. South Carolina and Vanderbilt battled to a 1-1 (2OT) draw in the last meeting on Oct. 24, 2014. The Gamecocks claimed a 4-1 victory in the last meeting at Stone Stadium on Oct. 25, 2013.
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 fifth in the SEC in goals and 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. Against conference opponents, her eight points rank sixth and she is tied for fourth with three goals.
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 rank first in the league and tie for 11th in the nation.
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. In league contests, she ranks tied for fourth with nine points and three goals.
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 rank 10th in the SEC. Groff is likely to miss the remainder of the 2015 season with a partial ACL tear to her right knee.
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 6-1-0 on the year with three shutouts. She has made 13 saves and has a goals against average of 0.80. 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 14 saves and has a goals against average of 1.02. In SEC contests, Crider leads the league with a goals against average of 0.75 while Kelly ranks third (0.93). Crider’s two shutouts against conference opponents tie for third.
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.
The Gamecocks hit the road, traveling to Florida on Thurs., Oct. 22 and LSU on Sun, Oct. 25 before closing out the 2015 season at home, hosting Tennessee on Thurs. Oct. 29 at Stone Stadium.