Gamecocks Settle for Draw with USF in Exhibition
Columbia, S.C. – The University of South Carolina played to a scoreless draw with the University of South Florida on Saturday afternoon at Stone Stadium. The No. 5 Gamecocks played a total of 26 players in the contest.
“I thought today was a great learning experience,” head coach Shelley Smith said after the game. “We had a good chance to play a strong opponent and see what we have and to see what our best combinations are. We did a lot of things well, but a lot that we can learn from. We know it is going to take time, but we will pick some things out that are most crucial in time for Friday’s game.”
Simone Wark created the Gamecocks first chances in the first of three 30 minute periods. The lone senior on the squad put a pair of shots up, one on target, with the other going high. The rest of the first period saw both teams feeling one another out, with South Florida posting just one shot, which was blocked.
The action would pick up in the second period. South Carolina would put three shots toward goal, while South Florida put two on, none on target for either team. 45 minutes into the game the Gamecocks would make a change in goal, giving Alexis McMullen an opportunity in goal to earn some valuable experience.
The highlight of the game came in the 69th minute, with USF being awarded a penalty kick. The Bulls would put Andrea Hauksdottir on the line to take the shot, but the junior would put the ball wide to the left, keeping the game scoreless.
McMullen would make a crucial save in the 73rd minute, keeping the game still scoreless between the two 2017 NCAA tournament teams. The game would conclude 17 minutes later with both teams settling for a draw in the friendly match.
“I thought Jylissa [Harris] showed she could be a dominant player in the midfield,” Smith said of the freshman. “It was hard for them to get away from her pressure. I think we have some very feisty and aggressive players with our freshman. Players like Frances, Paige, Gina and Meredith want to compete and we are excited to work with them to make them more efficient players for us.”
“I thought Tatumn had a great game,” Smith added. “She showed why we moved her to centerback while Grace is not here. She did very well to save us a few times from some dangerous opportunities. She settled the game when we needed her to, so I think she stepped up when we put her out there with several new players next to her. I give her a lot of credit to takeover and lead from the back.”
South Carolina will shift their focus to their regular season opener against Fordham this coming Friday. The game is set for 7:00 p.m. ET at Stone Stadium with doors opening at 6:00 p.m. ET. Make sure to follow South Carolina women’s soccer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you do not miss any content during the 2018 season.