Freshmen are the Difference in Season Opening Win
Columbia, S.C. – The 2018 season began with another non-conference victory at home for the University of South Carolina women’s soccer team on Friday night.
Freshman Riley Tanner found the back of the net in the 26th minute for the first time in her career. Tanner’s header was set up by another freshman, Selma Sol Magnusdottir, who made her first start in the Garnet and Black.
“We are pleased to come out with a win tonight,” head coach Shelley Smith said after the contest. “We’re glad to be at home and get our first game under our belt. I thought we had a lot of the possession, which was nice to see. We had pretty good opportunities, we could have done a little bit more in the attacking third. We’re excited to turn around on Sunday back at home, and see how we can improve.”
The goal from Tanner is the first time a freshman has scored the opening goal of the regular season for the University of South Carolina in over eight seasons.
Mikayla Krrzeczowski made the start in goal for the Gamecocks, making two saves in the contest. She would play the first 70 minutes of action with sophomore Alexis McMullen polishing off the final 20 minutes to complete the shutout. The 1-0 victory marks the second straight season the Gamecocks have started the season with shutout.
In control for the majority of the contest, the Gamecocks would complete the game outshooting Fordham 10-3, with four on frame for Carolina and six shots in the second half. The Garnet and Black put a total of four shots on frame in the victory, and would take a total of six corners.
22 players would play for the Gamecocks in the season opener, 16 of those players were either sophomores of freshman for one of the youngest teams in the entire country.
“The freshmen are going to be a key to our success this year,” said Smith. “We have a very strong group, we are going to have to count on them to have some production. We lost a lot of players from last year’s team and they are some pretty big shoes to fill.”
The Gamecocks will be back in action on Sunday Aug. 19 against the College of Charleston at Stone Stadium. The game is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET.
You can follow the Gamecocks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you do not miss any content during the 2018 season.