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Nov. 5, 2015

Final Stats

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – No. 16 South Carolina (12-4-3) and No. 19 Auburn (14-4-1) dueled to a 2-2 draw in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament before the Tigers eventually advanced to the semifinals 5-3 on penalty kicks at the Orange Beach Sports Complex.

The fourth-seeded Tigers converted all of their penalty kicks and secured a spot in the SEC semifinals after midfielder Ellie Leek found the back of the net on Auburn’s fifth penalty shot.

Forwards Savannah McCaskill and Bay Daniel and midfielder Lindsey Lane all converted their penalty attempts for the No. 5 seed Gamecocks. Junior Sophie Groff, who saw her first action on the field since suffering an ACL injury last month, missed wide right on South Carolina’s first penalty kick.

Anna Conklin and Simone Wark each scored for the Gamecocks in the contest.

The Gamecocks jumped out to a 2-0 lead, opening the scoring in the 20th minute on Conklin’s third goal of the season after a series of nice passes by senior Carly Ray and McCaskill. Ray found McCaskill at the top of the attacking third, and the South Carolina forward threaded a beautiful through ball towards the right side of the box to Conklin. Conklin gathered the pass and raced into the box before calmly slipping the ball into the left corner of the net past Auburn goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau.

McCaskill’s second assist of the night in the 61st minute made it 2-0 Gamecocks, as her cross from the right side of the box connected with Wark directly in front of the Auburn goal. The freshman striker stretched her foot out and deflected the ball that dribbled over the goal line.

The Tigers responded quickly, scoring less than one minute later to cut into the lead after a turnover by the South Carolina defense. Forward Kristen Dodson took advantage of the miscue, tallying her fourth goal of the season after receiving a pass from Brooke Ramsier.

In the 76th minute, Ramsier again provided the service for the Tigers, who evened the match at two. Her flick pass in the box found Leek, and the midfielder rifled a shot that sent the ball into the top right corner of the net.

Neither team produced a quality scoring chance in overtime, as the two combined for just four shots in the two 10-minute extra periods.

Gamecock goalkeeper Caroline Kelly turned in her best performance of the season on Wednesday, finishing with a season-high eight saves.


Leek’s successful penalty attempt following overtime decided the match for the Tigers, who moved to 6-10-4 all-time against the Gamecocks.


The Tigers finished the contest with a 9-3 advantage in corner kicks.


  • Wednesday marked the 14th all-time appearance in the SEC Tournament for the Gamecocks, who have reached the event in each of the last 10 seasons. South Carolina moved to 6-12-5 in tournament play with the draw to the Tigers.
  • Following the loss in penalty kicks, the Gamecocks saw their streak of two-straight semifinal appearances in the SEC Tournament snapped. South Carolina had reached the semifinal round in four of its previous six seasons.
  • Wednesday’s contest was the first time South Carolina fell in penalty kicks since the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks had advanced in each of its last five matches decided by penalties.
  • South Carolina’s goal in the 20th minute marked the first postseason points for Savannah McCaskill and Anna Conklin. The pair combined for 31 points during the regular season.


South Carolina Head Coach Shelley Smith

It was definitely a tough way to finish the tournament. That was quite a battle. Give Auburn credit, they came out and battled and made it tough to play against.

We did a good job of weathering the pressure early on, and I thought we handled ourselves well for the majority of the match. We got the second goal, but we let a team back in and that can’t happen. It’s a tough way to lose, unfortunately it didn’t’ go our way tonight.


South Carolina awaits word on the announcement of the field of 64 for the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The selection show for the event is set for Monday, Nov. 9 (4:30 ET) on, and fans can find the tournament’s schedule HERE.