Aug. 25, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina women’s soccer notched a 3-0 victory over NC State in its home opener Thursday night at Stone Stadium behind goals from seniors Bay Daniel, Paige Bendell and Chelsea Drennan. Junior forward Savannah McCaskill tallied two assists for the Gamecocks, who moved to 2-0-1 on the season with the victory.
Carolina opened the scoring in the 12th minute after McCaskill raced past the Wolfpack defense and found some space near the right side of the box. Her cross into the near post connected with Daniel, and the forward flicked a shot that sent the ball into the top of the net. With the score, Daniel matched her career high for goals in a season.
The Gamecocks made it 2-0 seven minutes later after they were awarded a corner kick. Drennan’s service in found the head of Bendell, who elevated over the defense at the far post and drove the ball into the top right corner past NC State keeper Sydney Wootten. The goal marked Drennan’s second assist of the season, and moved the senior captain two away from the program record (33).
McCaskill’s play in the attacking third led to another goal in the 56th minute. A poor pass by an NC State defender left the Irmo, S.C., native all alone with the ball, and she drew the keeper of her line before slipping a pass to Drennan in the box. Drennan slotted home the empty net goal with ease, firing the ball into the middle of the net.
The Gamecocks stifled the NC State attack throughout the match, holding it to just one shot on goal. South Carolina boasted a 13-5 shot advantage overall and finished the game with seven corner kicks compared to just four for the Wolfpack. Freshman goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski made one save on the night, as she earned her first career win and improved to 1-0-1 on the year. Thursday’s victory pushed South Carolina’s all-time mark against NC State to 5-1-0.
“I’m really proud of how we came out tonight. We put pressure on them right away, and we found goals out of it. Early goals always help, and that allowed us to keep the pressure on.” – Shelley Smith
The Gamecocks put the match out of reach following McCaskill’s heads up play in the 56th minute. The junior forward’s two assists against the Wolfpack matched a career high in a game.
South Carolina’s back line kept NC State in check, allowing just one attempt on frame. The Gamecocks conceded just two shots in the final 45 minutes.
- With the win, the Gamecocks extended their winning streak in home openers to six games. South Carolina has lost just two home openers under Shelley Smith.
- Senior defender Paige Bendell’s two goals this season match her career total prior to this season. Both of her goals this fall have come from headers off of corner kicks.
- South Carolina has outshot its opponents in each of its first three matches of the season. McCaskill leads the Gamecocks with 16 attempts overall.
- Over the last two games, the Gamecocks have allowed just four shots on goal. Carolina held Tulsa to three shots on frame in Sunday’s win.
South Carolina continues its non-conference schedule this weekend on the road against UCF on Sunday. Kickoff from UCF Soccer Complex in Orlando, Fla., is set for 7 p.m. ET.