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Feb. 16, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. ââ’¬” South Carolina women’s soccer returned to action this week for the start of its spring season. The Gamecocks held their first practice of the year Tuesday before training again this morning at Stone Stadium.

“They have come out and done really well to start the spring,” South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith said. We have a smaller group, and every single one of them has been working hard.”

Carolina, which began workouts and other conditioning exercises in January, will train several more times before opening its spring schedule. The Gamecocks’ spring slate will be announced later this month.

“The spring is a huge time for us to develop, especially as individual players,” Smith said. “We focus a lot more on some of their individual touches and techniques, and we do some tactical work as well.”

Carolina boasted the finest season in program history this past fall after finishing with a school-record 21 victories. The Gamecocks captured the 2016 SEC Regular-Season Title and reached the NCAA Elite Eight for the second time in three years. Carolina, the only school in Division I to finish the regular season unbeaten (17-0-1), earned the program’s first NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed before notching victories over ranked opponents in the second and third round.