No. 14 Gamecocks To Wrap up Regular Season with No. 15 Texas A&M
#14 Women’s Soccer vs Texas A&M
COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 14 South Carolina (12-3-1, 6-2-1 SEC) takes on No. 15 Texas A&M this week to conclude the 2018 regular season. The Gamecocks will take on the Aggies at the Graveyard at 7:00 p.m. ET on Thu., Oct. 25, on the SEC Network.
LAST TIME OUT – MISSOURI/LSU
No. 14 South Carolina (12-3-1, 6-2-1 SEC) finished last weekend with a 1-1-0 record after taking down Missouri (6-9-2, 3-5-1 SEC) at home and then falling to LSU (10-6-1, 4-4-1 SEC) on the road. South Carolina extended its unbeaten streak to six, the longest of the season, before losing to LSU on Sunday.
Sophomore Luciana Zullo netted her first goal of the season in the victory over Missouri on Thursday. The sophomore has had a total of 15 shots in the last three matches, almost half of her season total. Mikayla Krzeczowski registered her sixth-consecutive clean sheet in the win over Missouri, breaking the longest consecutive shutout streak of her career.
“The moment [Lauren] Chang got her head up, I knew she was going to hit a diagonal ball with her foot,” Zullo said after the match. “I just did my job and got on the end of it and beat the outside back and did my best to finish. It just shows anyone on our team can score any given day.”
Against LSU, the Gamecocks earned a penalty kick early in the second half to take a 1-0 lead over the Tigers. Chang converted the penalty kick after freshman Riley Tanner drew the foul in the box. South Carolina went on to lead for nearly the entire second half before LSU scored with 1:07 to go in the match, forcing overtime.
LSU went on to score the gamewinner in the second overtime, the first double overtime loss for the Gamecocks since Oct. 22, 2015, against Florida in Gainesville.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M (14-3-1, 5-3-1 SEC) is currently in a stretch in which it has lost each of the last two matches. The two-match losing streak is the first time that the Aggies have lost consecutive regular-season matches since 2016 when they lost to Tennessee and Ole Miss, both on the road. The latest loss for Texas A&M was its first loss at home, moving its record to 11-1-0 in College Station.
South Carolina has won each of the past three matches against the Aggies, and has not lost since 2013 in the SEC Tournament. The Gamecocks trail in the all-time series with a 3-5-1 record since the two teams played for the first time in 2003.
Junior Ally Watt leads the potent Aggie offense with a total of 12 goals this season, the second most in the SEC this season and tied for 17th in the country. Asdis Halldorsdottir has been dangerous offensively with four goals and five assists this season and a total of 61 shots, with 18 on goal. Texas A&M runs an aggressive offensive attack; the Aggies have been called offside 31 times this season, which leads the SEC.
In goal, Cosette Morche has started all 18 matches this season for the Aggies. She owns a 0.82 goals against average, good enough for sixth in the SEC this season. The Aggies have surrendered a good amount of shots this season as Morche has made 58 saves this season, the seventh most in the SEC this year.
Texas A&M was selected to finish second in the SEC in the preseason coaches’ poll.
KEEP THE RECORDS COMING
Krzeczowski broke the 14-year SEC career shutouts record held by Megan Rivera of Auburn against Missouri when the Gamecocks shut out the Tigers 1-0 at home. Her six SEC shutouts is the most since conference play began, and nine on the season has her tied for the most among SEC goalkeepers. Krzeczowski’s 0.45 goals against average in league play is the second best in the SEC.
GAMECOCKS IN THE POLLS
On Tuesday afternoon when the weekly United Soccer Coaches poll was released, South Carolina fell to the No. 14 spot after its pair of results over the past weekend. In the Top Drawer Soccer poll, Carolina dropped three spots to No. 10.
South Carolina moved down to No. 16 in the latest NCAA Women’s Soccer RPI.
THE GREAT GAMECOCK DEFENSE
With another shutout over the weekend, South Carolina has held 12 different teams scoreless this season, the most of any team in the SEC. South Carolina leads the conference with just seven goals allowed this season. South Carolina remained the only team in the SEC to not allow a goal in the first half of any match this season by blanking both Missouri and LSU.
NOT IN OUR HOUSE
In 10 home matches, South Carolina has allowed just one goal. That goal came back on Sept. 2 against Purdue in the 88th minute. Since then, no team has registered a goal in over 541 minutes in Columbia.
THE CHANG SPECIAL
Lauren Chang added to her team high in goals over the past weekend. Her penalty kick goal gave her six on the season, which is three times the amount she had during her freshman campaign. Her improvement this season is the largest of anyone on the South Carolina roster this season.
This season, South Carolina has kept its schedule as tough as they come in the country. Against seven 2017 NCAA Tournament participants, the Gamecocks own a 5-1-1 record. Texas A&M will add another team to that record this season. The Gamecocks also earned a draw with South Florida in exhibition play, another participant in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Following the Gamecocks’ regular-season finale on Thursday, South Carolina will learn its opponent in the SEC Tournament that will be held in Orange Beach, Ala., from Tue., Oct. 30, until Nov. 4. South Carolina will then wait for the NCAA Selection Committee on Mon., Nov. 5, for any potential NCAA Tournament matches. The start time for the Selection Show is still to be determined.