Galassini's Second-Half Heroics Push Gamecocks Past No. 23 Michigan
Sept. 3, 2017
No. 11 Women’s Soccer vs. No. 23 Michigan
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sparked by a pair of second-half goals from freshman midfielder Bianca Galassini, No. 11 South Carolina women’s soccer rallied to move past No. 23 Michigan 2-1 Sunday afternoon at Alumni Stadium. Galassini netted two tallies in six minutes to lift the Gamecocks over the Wolverines and complete their unbeaten showing (2-0-0) at the Notre Dame Invitational.
Carolina, which attempted the first nine shots of the second period, pressed for an equalizer out of the half before breaking through in the 54th minute. Gamecock sophomore forward Elexa Bahr set up the goal after sending in a dangerous cross from the right side. Her pass deflected off a Michigan defender and fell to Galassini, who quickly collected the loose ball and slotted it home past Wolverine goalkeeper Hillary Beall to even the score at 1-1.
Galassini capped off her second-half heroics in the 60th minute when she again scored from inside the box. The Frankfort, Ill., native took advantage of a poor clearance attempt by the Michigan defense that left the ball for the midfielder. Galassini, who entered Sunday’s match with zero career goals, made the Wolverines pay and chipped the ball into the right side of the net to make it 2-1 Carolina.
Michigan opened the scoring early, finding the back of the net in the eighth minute off a set piece from the top of the attacking third. Junior forward Reilly Martin’s free kick sent a shot towards goal before Gamecock goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski punched the ball away to create a rebound opportunity in the box. The Wolverines pounced on the loose ball, and sophomore defender Jada Dayne headed home the goal to grab a 1-0 lead.
Carolina, which outshot Michigan 8-6 over the first 45 minutes, saw multiple scoring chances down the stretch of the first half. The Gamecocks’ first opportunity came in the 13th minute after Carolina senior forward Savannah McCaskill earned her team a free kick from 28 yards out. South Carolina senior midfielder Lindsey Lane’s ensuing shot curled towards net before missing wide right.
In the 19th minute, a give-and-go between Bahr and freshman striker Ryan Gareis set up a scoring chance near the left side of the box. Gareis received the final pass and raced into the box, where she rifled a shot that hit off the left side of the net. Fellow Carolina newcomer Lauren Chang produced the final scoring opportunity of the half in the 35th minute after weaving her way into the box. The Michigan defense denied the chance, and a Wolverine defender kicked the ball out of danger before Chang was able to fire a shot.
The Gamecocks ramped up their effort in the attacking third to begin the second half and generated a pair of scoring chances in the opening 10 minutes of the period. Carolina sophomore defender Tatumn Milazzo came inches away from a goal in the 52nd minute after her cross from the right side drifted towards net and called for a diving save from Beall. One minute later, McCaskill almost put the Gamecocks on the board when she headed a shot that sent the ball just wide right.
Michigan’s best chance for a late-game equalizer came on a counter attack in the 75th minute. The sequence left Taylor Timko with the ball in the box, and the redshirt junior forward whipped in a shot that rocketed the ball past the right post and out of bounds.
Carolina outshot Michigan 12-2 over the final 45 minutes and boasted a 20-8 advantage in attempts for the match. The Gamecocks attempted each of the game’s three corner kicks, while Krzeczowski totaled four saves in the win. Sunday marked the first ever meeting between Carolina and the Wolverines.
“I’m just so proud of this team and how they responded. At halftime we made some adjustments, and this team did so well to come out and battle. We dominated that second half, and people came in and did their jobs. We needed Bianca to come in and do her job today, and she stepped up. She raised the level for us with her competitiveness on the field. She has that kind of drive and fight in her.” – South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith
Freshman midfielder Bianca Galassini netted two second-half goals in six minutes to flip momentum and establish a 2-1 lead for the Gamecocks with 30 minutes to play. Sunday marked the first come-from-behind victory for Carolina this season.
The Gamecocks took control of the game in the second half and outshot the Wolverines 12-2 over the final 45 minutes of the contest. Michigan failed to put a shot on goal in the last period.
- Sunday’s win over Michigan marked Carolina’s first victory over a ranked opponent away from Stone Stadium since 2014. The Gamecocks knocked off No. 6 North Carolina 1-0 in Chapel Hill in the third round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
- Six of the Gamecocks’ 12 goals this season have been scored by freshmen. Midfielder Bianca Galassini’s two tallies in 2017 lead all Carolina newcomers.
- Galassini becomes the second Gamecock to register a multi-goal game this year. Carolina senior attacker Savannah McCaskill notched two goals against Wake Forest on Aug. 24.
- Five different players have netted a game-winner for Carolina this fall. Seven Gamecocks boasted a game-winning tally all of last season.
South Carolina faces in-state rival and No. 8 ranked Clemson on the road this week on Fri., Sept. 8. Kickoff from Historic Riggs Field is set for 7 p.m. ET, and next Friday’s top-15 contest will be the first meeting between the two since the Gamecocks downed the then-No. 6 Tigers 2-1 at Stone Stadium last September.