Sept. 25, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 8 South Carolina women’s soccer extended its winning streak to double-digits after downing Kentucky 3-0 at Stone Stadium Sunday behind goals from seniors Sophie Groff and Kaleigh Kurtz and junior Lindsey Lane. Junior forward Savannah McCaskill added a pair of assists for the Gamecocks (10-0-1, 4-0-0 SEC), who remain as one of four teams unbeaten on the year. Kentucky fell to 4-5-2 overall and 0-3-1 in conference action with the loss.
All three goals came in a span of less than 12 minutes for Carolina, which didn’t allow a single shot in the second half. The Gamecocks boasted a 25-2 shot advantage for the match, putting 10 attempts on target.
South Carolina broke through in the 56th minute when McCaskill sent a great ball into the box from just inside the attacking third. Her pass hit Groff in stride, and the senior attacker fired a shot that hit off the post. Groff stuck with the play and collected the rebound before burying the ball into the back of the net.
The lead grew to two in the 64th minute when Kurtz connected on her first goal of the season. The center back found some space near the top of the box and rifled a shot into the top right corner past the diving body of Kentucky goalkeeper Evangeline Soucie. The unassisted goal was the second of Kurtz’s career.
South Carolina’s advantage didn’t stay at two for long, as the Gamecocks put the game away in the 67th minute following great footwork on the end line from McCaskill. The forward eluded the Kentucky defense with a back heel move that left her all alone in the right side of the box. With plenty of space, McCaskill delivered a pass to Lane, who knocked in her sixth career goal from the heart of the box to make it 3-0.
Gamecock freshman Mikayla Krzeczowski recorded two saves and moved to 7-0-1 on the season following the victory. South Carolina attempted four corner kicks against Kentucky, and Sunday’s performance marked its fifth shutout in the last six matches.
“We continued at it and didn’t get frustrated from the first half. We had a lot of opportunities, and we did well to be a little more dangerous in the second half. It was a great credit to our team to do what we needed to do to win the game.” — South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith
Senior defender Kaleigh Kurtz’s strike from the top of the box pushed the lead to two and gave the Gamecocks total control of the match. Kurtz boasts six points this season on one goal and four assists.
South Carolina allowed just two shots the entire afternoon against the Wildcats. Kentucky did not record in a shot in the final 51 minutes of the match.
- South Carolina sports a double-digit winning streak for the second time in program history. The Gamecocks opened their 2009 campaign with 11-straight victories.
- The Gamecocks’ 11-match unbeaten streak is their longest since 2009 when they went unbeaten through their first 14 matches.
- With six shutouts this season, the Gamecocks have already matched last year’s total in the statistical category. South Carolina has allowed just five goals in 2016.
- Sunday marked the third career multi-assist performance for junior forward Savannah McCaskill. She tallied two assists in South Carolina’s home opener against NC State on Aug. 25.
South Carolina plays the first of two-straight SEC road matches on Thu., Sept. 29, when it travels to No. 14 Texas A&M. Thursday’s top-25 battle, which kicks off at 7 p.m. ET, will air on SEC Network.