Sept. 3, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Junior forward Savannah McCaskill tallied a pair of goals and the Gamecock defense allowed just three shots on frame to lead South Carolina women’s soccer to a 2-1 win over No. 6 Clemson Saturday night at Stone Stadium. The victory marked the fourth straight for the Gamecocks, who moved to 4-0-1 on the season and notched their third win over a top-10 foe since 2015. Clemson fell to 3-2-0 on the season following the loss, and Saturday’s result gave Carolina its first point in the Palmetto Series this year.
After generating the majority of the match’s scoring opportunities in the early going, South Carolina broke through just before the half. Junior left back Anna Conklin set up the goal in the 37th minute, sending a cross from the left side that found McCaskill in front of net. The junior used her head to float the ball into the top right corner of net over the outstretched arms of Clemson goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.
South Carolina doubled its advantage in the 49th minute, as McCaskill again found herself on the end of a scoring play. After the Gamecocks earned a free kick, senior center back Kaleigh Kurtz delivered a long pass to forward Sophie Groff, who one-timed the ball with her head to a streaking McCaskill in the box. McCaskill found herself one-on-one with the keeper and calmly flicked a shot into the left side of net to make it 2-0. The score gave the Chapin, S.C., native her second multi-goal game of the season.
Clemson cut it to 2-1 in the 79th minute after scoring from well outside the box. Defender Sam Staab collected a pass from Mac Smith and fired an arching shot that sent the ball into the top left corner of net. The result marked the first goal given up by the Gamecocks at Stone Stadium this season.
South Carolina freshman goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski registered two saves on the night, none bigger than in the 85th minute when the Tigers again tried to score from distance. Smith’s attempt from outside the box curled near the top left corner of the box and into the hands of a leaping Krzeczowski, who knocked the ball away before gathering it.
The Gamecocks outshot the Tigers 15-7 for the night, and Clemson registered just one shot in the opening 45 minutes. Krzeczowski earned her third victory of the season, moving to 3-0-1 on the year. Sheridan ended the match with four saves for the Tigers, while South Carolina attempted five corner kicks compared to just three for Clemson.
For the fourth-straight match, South Carolina held an opponent to three shots or fewer on net. The Tigers put just one attempt on target in the first 84 minutes of the contest.
- The Gamecocks have now won four of its last six matches against top-10 opponents dating back to the 2014 season. Three of those victories came at Stone Stadium.
- Three of South Carolina’s 12 all-time wins over top-10 foes have come against Clemson. The Gamecocks knocked off the ninth-ranked Tigers in 1996 before topping No. 7 Clemson in 2004.
- Junior forward Savannah McCaskill registered her fifth career multi-goal game in the win on Saturday. Her two goals moved her into fifth on South Carolina’s all-time scoring list with 56 points.
- Left back Anna Conklin leads the Gamecocks with three assists this season. She entered her junior campaign this fall with zero career assists.
- The Gamecocks are now 6-5-1 all-time at home against Clemson. Saturday’s win improved South Carolina’s overall record against the Tigers to 9-13-1.
South Carolina resumes non-conference action on Monday at home against Charlotte. Kickoff at Stone Stadium between the Gamecocks and 49ers is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET.