Oct. 21, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s soccer team begins a two-game road stretch at Florida on Thurs., Oct. 22 with kickoff set for 7 p.m. from James G. Pressley Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The contest will be televised on the SEC Network. The Gamecocks then travel to LSU on Sun., Oct. 25 for their final road match of the season. Action from LSU Soccer Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. will begin at 2 p.m. ET.
Playing For A Crowd
Through nine games at Stone Stadium, the Gamecocks rank second in the nation in home attendance with 24,512 total fans. South Carolina’s average of 2,946 fans per contest ranks third. 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)
South Carolina is in a three-way tie with Florida and Missouri for first place in the SEC standings with 16 points. Ole Miss, Auburn and Texas A&M are all just one point behind with 15.
Offense on Fire
Through 15 games this season South Carolina has scored 36 goals compared to last year’s squad that netted 32 all season. The Gamecocks have had 15 different goal scorers.
In the Rankings
The Gamecocks are No. 17 in the latest NSCAA and TopDrawerSocccer.com rankings and ranked 23rd by Soccer America. South Carolina is No. 25 in the latest RPI released by the NCAA.
The Gamecocks had a 10-game unbeaten streak this season that ended with a 2-0 loss at Ole Miss. During the 10-game stretch the Gamecocks won eight consecutive matches, went unbeaten in six-straight SEC contests and were 9-0-1 overall.
The Gamecocks suffered their first home loss of the season, falling 2-1 (OT) to Vanderbilt last Friday. South Carolina senior forward Raina Johnson and the Gamecocks opened the scoring in the 27th minute following a series of successful passes. Junior midfielder Chelsea Drennan found some space in the attacking third and threaded a pass to sophomore Savannah McCaskill near the right side of the box. The South Carolina forward’s cross in front of net connected with the outstretched leg of Johnson, who tallied her fifth goal of the season. Vanderbilt drew even with South Carolina out of the break following forward Taylor Elliot’s third goal of the season in the 46th minute. Elliot found the back of the net from the top of the box, as she fired the ball into the top half of the goal past Kelly. Junior forward Simone Charley provided the game-winner for the Commodores in the 97th minute.
By The Numbers
South Carolina holds a 237-104 shot advantage over opponents through 15 games. The Gamecocks have put 120 of 2137 shots on target, compared to opponents getting just 44 shots on goal. South Carolina averages 15.8 shots per game and is outscoring opponents 36-15. Averaging 2.40 goals per contest, the Gamecocks have 15th highest scoring offense in the country while their 108 points and 36 goals tie for 14th and 17th, respectively.
South Carolina’s 108 points and 36 goals rank second and third, respectively, in the SEC. The Gamecocks rank first in assists (34) and assists per game (2.33), second in goals per game (2.40) and their 237 shots tie for the seventh most in the league. South Carolina ranks fifth in fewest goals allowed with 15 and has the seventh best goals against average (0.97).
In SEC contests the Gamecocks are tied for third in fewest goals allowed with eight, boast the third lowest goals against average of 0.96 and one of only five teams to record three shutouts against league opponents. South Carolina is tied for fourth in points (42), tied for third in assists (14) and assists per game (1.75), goals (14) and goals per game (1.75), and has tallied the fifth most shots (112).
The Gators are 11-3-1 on the season and 5-2-1 in the SEC after a 2-1 win at Mississippi State last week. Junior forward Savannah Jordan leads the team and the SEC with 33 points and 14 goals. Freshman Kaylan Marckese and junior Valerie Tysinger have split time in the net. The duo has recorded a combined 40 saves and two shutouts.
Florida leads the all-time series 20-5-1. The Gamecocks have won the last two contests with the Gators, including a 3-2 win on Oct. 16, 2014 in which Savannah McCaskill netted the game-winner.
The Tigers are 9-4-3 on the year and 3-4-1 in the league after a 1-0 win at Arkansas last week. Freshman Jorida Baucom leads the team with 26 points and 12 goals, including 4 game-winners. Senior keeper Catalina Rubiano has tallied 61 saves, five shutouts and has a goals against average of 1.13.
The Gamecocks lead the all-time series with the Tigers 10-2-5. South Carolina has a five-game unbeaten streak, including three straight wins over LSU. In the last meeting between the two squads (Oct. 5, 2014), Daija Griffin netted the game-winner to lead the Gamecocks to a 1-0 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 (24), shots (35), and shots on goal (21). The sophomore has also tallied six assists, the second most on the team. 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 nine points rank sixth and she is tied for seventh with three goals. She has tallied three assists against SEC opponents, which tie for third in the league.
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 tie for first in the league and tie for 19th in the nation. She has tallied three assists against conference opponents, which tie for third 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. In league contests, she is tied for fourth with 11 points and four goals. She has tallied three assists against SEC opponents, which tie for third in the conference.
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 5-2-1 on the year with one shutout. She has made 15 saves and has a goals against average of 1.13. In SEC contests, Crider leads the league with a goals against average of 0.75 while Kelly ranks seventh (1.16). Crider’s two shutouts against conference opponents tie for fifth.
Home Field Advantage
The Gamecocks won eight-straight matches and are 9-1-0 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
The Gamecocks close out the 2015 regular season on Thurs. Oct. 29, hosting Tennessee at Stone Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the match will be available on SEC Network +. South Carolina will honor eight seniors prior to the contest.
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.