Sept. 21, 2016
Watch Live // Live Stats // Match Notes // Twitter
COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 8 South Carolina women’s soccer aims for its ninth-straight win when it hosts LSU on Thu., Sept. 22, at Stone Stadium in the first of two SEC home matches this week. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the contest will be broadcast on SEC Network+, available through WatchESPN.
This fall, South Carolina soccer matches are included in the Athletics Department’s new clear bag policy for all ticketed athletics events in a move designed to provide a safer environment and more expedited entry for fans. The Athletics Department encourages fans to not bring any type of bag to games, but understands that there are some who prefer to do so. The new policy will limit the size and type of bags that may be brought into South Carolina Athletics events. Information on the Clear Bag Policy and other Game Day Policies can be found online.
LSU earned two shutout victories last week, defeating Ole Miss 3-0 (Sept. 16) before registering a 4-0 win over Lamar (Sept. 18) on Sunday. The Tigers, who sport a mark of 6-4-0 overall, enter Thursday’s game with wins in five of their last six contests. They fell to No. 17 Virginia Tech (Aug. 19) and No. 11 Texas A&M (Sept. 11) in their two contests against top-25 opponents in 2016, but they have won four of their five road matches this season.
Junior forward Jorian Baucom has carried the LSU offense with a team-leading nine goals. Her scoring output is tied with South Carolina’s Savannah McCaskill for the league lead, and she ranks first among Tigers in points (18) and shots (34). Fellow junior Delaney Sheehan has tallied three goals this year and is second on LSU with seven points, while freshman defender Marlena Cutura has notched a team-high three assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Caroline Brockmeier has played all 900 minutes in net for LSU and ranks fourth in the league in goals against average (1.00). The Tigers are tied for first in the SEC with five shutouts this season, and their 16 goals are the eighth-highest total among conference members.
South Carolina, which boasts a 10-2-6 all-time record against LSU, is unbeaten in its last seven matches against the Tigers. The Gamecocks are 7-1-1 in home matches in the series, with their lone loss coming during the 1995 season.
LAST TIME OUT
The Gamecocks grabbed a 1-0 win in their SEC road opener at Auburn this past Sunday behind another game-winner from Savannah McCaskill. The junior forward scored on a header in the 29th minute after senior right back Evelyn Robinson sent a great ball into the box that hit McCaskill in stride. Auburn finished the match with a 10-7 shot advantage against a South Carolina defense that prevented any quality scoring chances down the stretch. Freshman goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski totaled three saves to notch her team-leading third shutout for the Gamecocks, who improved to 11-6-4 all-time against the Tigers.
South Carolina checked in at No. 5 in the season’s first NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), which was released on Monday. The ranking matched the program’s highest ever in the tool used by the selection committee to determine the 64-team field for the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks were last ranked No. 5 in RPI on Sept. 22, 2014, when that season’s first set of rankings were released. Stanford (7-0-1) is currently ranked No. 1, while BYU (7-1-0), Georgetown (8-1-0) and West Virginia (7-1-1) round out the top four.
2016 CLEAN SHEET
The Gamecocks are one of seven Division I schools still unbeaten on the year. Joining South Carolina in the undefeated ranks are No. 1 Stanford, No. 17 South Florida, Central Michigan, Bucknell, TCU and Lehigh. The Gamecocks went unbeaten (6-0-1) in non-conference play for the first time since 2013, and their 8-0-1 record marks their best start since 2009, when they won their first 11 matches.
DRENNAN CLOSING IN ON HISTORY
With an assist against Georgia, senior midfielder Chelsea Drennan moved one away from the program record of 33. The Anderson, S.C., native, who ranks third on the team with three assists this season, has led the Gamecocks in the statistical category in each of her first three years. Two of her three assists in 2016 have come at Stone Stadium.
TOWERING INTO THE TOP 10
South Carolina made another big move in Tuesday’s NSCAA Top-25 Poll, rising from No. 14 to No. 8. The Gamecocks’ jump into the top 10 marked the second-biggest leap of any school this week, and their No. 8 ranking is the third-highest in program history. South Carolina spent four weeks in the top 10 last season, climbing as high as No. 8 twice during the year. The Gamecocks, who have earned a top-10 ranking 16 times in program history, are listed at No. 8 in Soccer America’s poll.
NO GOALS FOR YOU
South Carolina has not allowed a goal in the last 372 minutes of game action dating back to the Clemson match (Sept. 3). The Gamecocks, who have yet to concede a goal in the first half this season, have been especially tough at home, outscoring opponents 14-1 in 2016. South Carolina held each of its last eight opponents to three or fewer shots on target, and it has outshot all but one team it has faced this season.
COMING THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH
Forward Savannah McCaskill’s goal against Auburn this past weekend marked her fifth game-winner of the season. The Chapin, S.C., native leads Division I in the statistical category, and she also ranks in the national top three in total goals (2nd, 9), total points (3rd, 22) and goals per game (3rd, 1.00). McCaskill entered her junior season with two game-winners combined in her first two years at South Carolina.
RECORD BOOK WATCH
With her game-winner against Auburn, junior forward Savannah McCaskill moved up two lists in South Carolina’s record book. Her seven game-winning goals rank sixth in school history, and she stands all alone in fourth place with 24 career goals. Her 66 points are good for the third-highest total all-time, and she also ranks in the top five in assists with 18 (4th).
Senior midfielder Chelsea Drennan, who is one assist away from the program record, stands three away from South Carolina’s game-winning assists record (12) with nine for her career. Her two-goal performance against UNCG (Sept. 15) moved the team captain into the top 10 on the program’s all-time scoring list at ninth (50). Fellow senior Sophie Groff ranks seventh in school history with six career game-winning goals.
South Carolina rounds out its week on Sun., Sept. 25, when it faces Kentucky at Stone Stadium. The contest is slated for a 2 p.m. kickoff, and the match between the Gamecocks and Wildcats can be seen on SEC Network+.