Nov. 13, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance, the South Carolina women’s soccer team suffered a 2-0 first round loss to UNCW on Friday night at Stone Stadium. The Gamecocks ended their season at 12-5-3 overall with UNCW now 15-6-1 on the year.
The Seahawks opened the scoring in the 12th minute after the Gamecocks were caught on the counterattack. Forward Maddie McCormick set up the scoring chance, as she threaded a pass from the midfield to midfielder Katrina Guillou, who collected the ball before slipping it past South Carolina goalkeeper Caroline Kelly from eight yards out.
The Gamecocks’ produced multiple scoring opportunities in the first half, starting in the 32nd minute when a free kick from forward Savannah McCaskill nearly produced the equalizer. Her ball on the set piece sailed into a dangerous spot in the box where it was punched away from UNC-Wilmington goalkeeper Carolyn Huddy. The ensuing corner kick was handled by the Seahawk defense and the danger was cleared.
McCaskill saw another chance to even the match at the end of the half when a through ball from junior Bay Daniel found the forward in stride at the top of the attacking third. She raced into the box and put a shot on that was turned away by the foot of Huddy.
UNCW pushed the lead to 2-0 in the 85th minute following its eighth corner kick of the match. The ball from the corner found Guillou at the top of the box, and the midfielder fired a shot that deflected off the hands of Kelly and fell to Lauren Nalevaiko directly in front of the box. Nalevaiko used her head to send the ball into the back of the net for her first goal of the season.
South Carolina had several chances to even the score midway through the second half. In the 71st minute, senior Raina Johnson pushed forward on the counterattack and found McCaskill near the right side of the box before the sophomore put a shot on that was saved. Less than 15 minutes later (85th minute), McCaskill’s cross into the box connected with the head of Daniel, who sent a shot just wide left.
Kelly finished with three saves for a South Carolina team that finished the match with a 12-11 shot advantage. Each team recorded eight shots in the second half, while the Seahawks attempted eight corners compared to four for South Carolina.
Nalevaiko’s goal late in the match put the game out of reach for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina outshot the Seahawks, 12-11, but were limited to three shots on goal
>> This season marked South Carolina’s eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last nine years. The Gamecocks moved to 6-8-3 in NCAA postseason action in school history.
>> Friday’s loss to UNCW was just the second time the Gamecocks dropped a match at Stone Stadium this season. South Carolina had not lost at home in the NCAA Tournament since the 2009 season in the Sweet 16.
>> The Gamecocks failed to register a goal in a home match for the first time this year in the loss to the Seahawks.
>> UNCW earned its first win over South Carolina with the victory. The Gamecocks entered Friday’s match with a 3-0-1 all-time record against the Seahawks.