Gamecocks Move Past Missouri 2-0 To Remain Perfect In SEC Play
Oct. 19, 2017
No. 3 Women’s Soccer at Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. — No. 3 South Carolina women’s soccer remained perfect in SEC play after posting a 2-0 victory over Missouri Thursday night at Walton Soccer Stadium. Sophomore defender Grace Fisk and senior attacker Savannah McCaskill netted first-half goals for the Gamecocks, who improved to 8-0-0 in conference action and 14-1-0 overall.
With the win, Carolina remained atop the SEC standings with two matches to play and pushed its winning streak to 12 games. The Gamecocks can clinch a share of the SEC Regular-Season Title with a victory over Georgia Sunday night at Stone Stadium.
Thursday’s result also marked Carolina’s 20th-straight win in SEC play in a stretch that dates back to 2015.
Both first-half tallies came off corner kicks, as Fisk and McCaskill converted on headers from inside the box. Gamecock senior midfielder Lindsey Lane’s corner from the left side located Fisk in the 15th minute, and the center back used her head to send a well-hit shot that hit off a Mizzou defender before finding the back of the net. The goal put Carolina in front 1-0 and handed Fisk her second tally of the season.
McCaskill stretched the lead to 2-0 less than 20 minutes later after the Gamecocks were awarded a corner from the right side. Carolina freshman midfielder Lauren Chang set up the scoring play after sending in a well-placed pass that connected with McCaskill in the heart of the box. The senior All-American positioned herself perfectly and headed it home past Tiger goalkeeper Kristen Rivers to double the advantage.
The Gamecocks saw another quality look before the half when senior midfielder Dominique Babbitt gathered the ball and fed Carolina freshman striker Luciana Zullo in the attacking third. Zullo collected the service and raced into the box before ripping a shot that sent the ball right into the hands of Rivers.
Carolina’s defensive unit answered the call in the second period when the Tigers began to apply more pressure in their attacking third. Gamecock sophomore right back Tatumn Milazzo produced a couple of stops in the half, including a great tackle near the left side of the box that stifled an opportunity in the 58th minute. Missouri saw another chance on its ensuing corner kick when a loose ball led to a header by Tiger midfielder Allie Hess near the top of the box. Babbitt quickly blocked the attempt to clear the danger and keep the score at 2-0.
The Gamecocks had a pair of opportunities in the later stages of the match, starting in the 70th minute. Chang played a through ball to McCaskill on the counterattack, but the senior forward was unable to collect the pass before a Mizzou defender knocked it away at the top of the box. One minute later, Zullo found some space from 20 yards out and rifled a shot that again fell into the hands of Rivers.
Carolina sported a 13-7 shot advantage for the match and held the Tigers to one attempt on goal. Zullo and McCaskill both put two shots on frame for a Gamecock squad that attempted seven of the match’s 12 corner kicks.
“I was very pleased with how we competed from the start. We took care of business early, and I thought we did a good job to threaten and find open players. We got to the end line and created set pieces. Missouri did a good job to press in the second half, but I thought we handled it well and battled through the 90 minutes. Our whole team has been very crucial in keeping teams off the board.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith
Sophomore defender Grace Fisk opened the scoring in the 15th minute when she headed home a goal following Carolina’s first corner kick of the match. The Gamecocks have registered a goal in the first 15 minutes in each of their last two games.
The Tigers were unable to get many clean looks at goal, and Missouri totaled just one attempt on frame for the night. The Gamecocks recorded their seventh shutout in league play following Thursday’s victory.
- South Carolina is the second team in league history to notch 20-straight wins in SEC play. Florida first accomplished the feat with a streak that stretched from 1997-99.
- The Gamecocks have now won each of their last three matches against the Tigers. Thursday’s result marked the first game between the two that was decided by more than one goal.
- Senior attacker Savannah McCaskill has registered a goal in each of Carolina’s last three matches. Her seven tallies in 2017 lead the Gamecocks.
- With her goal in the 34th minute, McCaskill moved one tally shy of 40 for her career. She is now eight points away from the program’s all-time record of 119.
South Carolina plays host to Georgia this weekend on Sun., Oct. 22, at Stone Stadium. The match against the Bulldogs marks the final regular-season home game for the Gamecocks, who will honor seven players prior to kickoff for Senior Night. Sunday’s contest, which can be seen on SEC Network+, gets underway at 6 p.m. ET.