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Nov. 3, 2016


Match Information

Date: Nov. 4, 2016

Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET

Location: Orange Beach, Ala.

Stadium: Orange Beach Sportsplex

Watch Live: SEC Network

Live Stats:

Recent Headlines

McCaskill’s Second-Half Brilliance Pushes Gamecocks Into SEC Semifinals Family Atmosphere for SEC Champion Soccer Program Starts at the Top Women’s Soccer Dominates SEC Postseason Awards

2016 Schedule
Date Opponent Time/Result (TV)
8/13 at High Point (Exh.) W, 2-0
8/19 Oklahoma T, 1-1 (OT)
8/21 Tulsa W, 4-1
8/25 NC State W, 3-0
8/28 UCF W, 2-1
9/3 No. 6 Clemson W, 2-1
9/5 Charlotte W, 3-0
9/9 Georgia W, 3-0
9/15 UNCG W, 3-0
9/18 Auburn W, 1-0
9/22 LSU W, 3-1
9/25 Kentucky W, 3-0
9/29 Texas A&M W, 1-0
10/6 Mississippi State W, 1-0
10/9 Arkansas W, 3-1
10/16 Florida W, 1-0 (OT)
10/20 Vanderbilt W, 2-1 (OT)
10/23 Tennessee W, 2-0
10/27 Ole Miss W, 2-0
11/2 Texas A&M (SEC Quarterfinals) W, 2-1
11/4 Florida (SEC Semifinals) 4:30 pm ET (SEC Network)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Top-seeded South Carolina (18-0-1, 11-0-0 SEC) continues play at the 2016 SEC Soccer Tournament Fri., Nov. 4, in the semifinals against No. 4 seed Florida (13-4-1, 8-3-0 SEC) at Orange Beach Sportsplex. Kickoff between the No. 2 ranked Gamecocks and the No. 15 Gators is slated for 4:30 p.m. ET, and the match will air on SEC Network. A win over Florida will advance Carolina to the league championship match for the third time in school history.


“It’s anyone’s game, just like it’s been all season. Our body of work has been tremendous, and this week is about trying to win another championship and put our best foot forward. We’re going to treat it like any game, but we know we’re going to use a little bit more of our depth because of the nature of trying to play two games in three days.” – South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith


The Gators outlasted fifth-seeded Missouri in penalty kicks Wednesday to move on to the SEC semifinals. Florida, which enters Friday’s game on a four-match unbeaten streak, converted each of its eight attempts to win the shootout 8-7. The Gators’ last loss came at the hands of the Gamecocks on Oct. 16 when Carolina senior midfielder Chelsea Drennan scored on an overtime penalty kick in the 97th minute. Florida is 6-3-0 in road matches this season and 0-0-1 in neutral contests, with its lone tie coming against the Tigers on Wednesday. The Gators are 1-2 against ranked opponents in 2016 following losses to No. 3 Stanford (Aug. 26) and the No. 2 Gamecocks (Oct. 16) and a win over No. 15 UCLA (Aug. 28).

Senior striker Savannah Jordan has paced the Gator attack this year, boasting team highs in goals (13), points (34) and assists (8). Senior midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard also sports eight assists on the year, and she ranks second on the team with 20 points. Sophomore goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese has notched seven shutouts on the year for the Gators, who ranked fourth in the SEC in goals against average (1.10) during the regular season. Florida leads all conference schools with 46 goals this season.

South Carolina is 6-21-1 all-time against the Gators in a series that dates back to 1995. The Gamecocks have won four of the last six matches in the series, and eight of the last nine between the two have been decided by one goal or less.


Led by two brilliant second-half goals from junior standout Savannah McCaskill, the top-seeded Gamecocks moved past eighth-seeded Texas A&M 2-1 Wednesday night at Orange Beach Sportsplex. McCaskill tallied near-identical goals after the break, collecting long passes before using her touch in the box to float a pair shots into the net. Her performance marked the striker’s second multi-goal performance in her last three games and the fifth time in 2016 she boasted two tallies in a match.

South Carolina held the Aggies to just three attempts on frame over the final 66 minutes and finished the contest with a 16-8 shot advantage. Each team attempted five corner kicks, while Krzeczowski totaled three saves to remain perfect (15-0-1) on the year.


This season marks the 15th appearance at the SEC Tournament for the Gamecocks, who have reached the event in each of the last 10 years. Friday will be Carolina’s seventh time in the semifinal round and its fifth appearance there in the last eight seasons. This year will mark the third time they face the Gators in the semifinals, and Carolina is 1-4-1 all-time at this stage of the league tournament.


The SEC Champion Gamecocks dominated the league’s postseason awards, earning three major accolades to go along with seven all-conference honors. Shelley Smith was tabbed the league’s Coach of the Year, while junior forward Savannah McCaskill (Offensive Player of the Year) and senior center back Kaleigh Kurtz (Defensive Player of the Year) were also honored. Smith’s accolade marked her third Coach of the Year award, and McCaskill, the 2014 SEC Freshman of the Year, became the second player in school history to garner Offensive Player of the Year honors. Kurtz is the third Gamecock to be named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.

South Carolina’s five First-Team All-SEC honorees (McCaskill, Kurtz, midfielder Chelsea Drennan, defender Paige Bendell, goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski) led the league and were the most in one year in school history. Senior striker Sophie Groff was also recognized, as she was named to the Second Team All-SEC. In addition to her First-Team honors, Krzeczowski was selected to the Freshman All-SEC squad.


South Carolina’s 2-0 victory over Tennessee on Oct. 23 gave the Gamecocks their third SEC Championship. Carolina won the 2009 SEC Tournament before capturing the league’s regular-season title in 2011. The Gamecocks, who did not trail in conference play this season, outscored league opponents 22-3 during the regular season. South Carolina became the third school in league history to boast an undefeated conference record following its 2-0 win over the Rebels last Thursday. With the victory, the Gamecocks matched Florida’s 11-0-0 league record in 2008 for the top SEC mark in conference history.


The Gamecocks remained at No. 2 in Tuesday’s NSCAA Top-25 Poll, receiving three first-place votes. South Carolina stayed at No. 3 in this week’s NCAA soccer RPI Rankings. Both positions are the best in program history, and the Gamecocks are listed at No. 2 in the current and Soccer America polls.


South Carolina, which sports the top winning percentage (.974) nationally, is the only remaining unbeaten team among the 334 NCAA Division I schools. The Gamecocks went unbeaten (6-0-1) in non-conference play for the first time since 2013, and they finished the regular season undefeated on the road (6-0-1) for just the second time in program history. Carolina’s 10-0-0 record at Stone Stadium in 2016 marked its second undefeated home season. At 18-0-1, the Gamecocks are off to their best start ever.


The Gamecocks currently boast the longest winning streak (17) and longest unbeaten streak (18) in school history. Both streaks bested the previous program records that were set in 2009 when South Carolina won 11-straight matches and began the season 13-0-1. With six-straight road victories, the Gamecocks also sport the longest road winning streak in program history, and South Carolina’s 17 regular-season victories in 2016 were its most ever.


South Carolina’s defense paved the way to its 2016 SEC Regular-Season Title. The Gamecocks boasted shutouts in eight of their 11 league matches, allowing just one goal on the road in conference action. Carolina conceded just three goals overall in league play, and the Gamecocks ranked first in the SEC in goals allowed (7) and shutouts (11). Their 0.41 goals against average currently leads the league and ranks sixth in NCAA Division I. South Carolina has limited an opponent to three or fewer shots on goal 15 times this season.


Forward Savannah McCaskill ranks second in Division I with nine game-winners this season. She has tallied the game-winning goal in each of Carolina’s last three matches, and the junior is one of five Gamecocks to notch double-digit game-winners (11) for her career.


The Gamecocks have trailed for just 34 minutes this season. Texas A&M’s goal in the 24th minute Wednesday marked the first time Carolina was behind in a match since it trailed UCF 1-0 over two months ago on Aug. 28. South Carolina has headed into halftime with the lead in nine games, and 10 of its victories have come by at least two goals. The Gamecocks have scored in the opening 15 minutes of a match nine times in 2016.


Shelley Smith, the program’s winningest coach, enters Friday one victory shy of 200 for her career at South Carolina. The 16th-year head coach, who spent four seasons at Rhode Island before coming to Carolina in 2001, has led the Gamecocks to double-digit wins in 12 seasons during her tenure.


Junior Savannah McCaskill’s first of two tallies Wednesday against Texas A&M gave the striker 15 goals in 2016, the most in one season by a Gamecock. The Chapin, S.C., native boasts 16 goals on the year, and her 40 points are also a program single-season record. The striker boasts five multi-goal games this season, and her nine game-winners in 2016 are also the most in one year in school history. McCaskill’s eight assists this year are the seventh-best single-year total by a Gamecock, and the striker ranks third in total points and fourth in total goals in Division I.


A win over the Gators would advance the Gamecocks to Sunday’s SEC Championship Match against either second-seeded Auburn or third-seeded Arkansas. The contest will kick off at 4 p.m. ET and air on ESPNU.