Carolina Comes From Behind to Dominate Alabama, 5-2
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – No. 8 South Carolina women’s soccer (8-1-0, 2-0-0 SEC) came from two goals down to take down Alabama (5-4-1, 0-2-0 SEC) 5-2 on the road on Thursday night. The come from behind victory is the first time in the Shelley Smith era that Carolina overcame a two-goal deficit to win.
“Going down two goals early was definitely uncharacteristic of us, but it was nice to see us respond instead of let that put us in a downward spiral,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “It was a great job by us to respond and finish the half even. It is a credit to our team and their effort. It was a situation they had not been in yet and the way they responded in the second half, they really played well, and goals came because of it.”
Luciana Zullo’s goal in the 52nd minute goes down as the game-winning goal for the Gamecocks, the second-straight match she has notched the gamewinner. Elexa Bahr, Ryan Gareis and Jyllissa Harris all scored in the road victory.
The five goals for the Gamecocks are the most against an SEC opponent since Oct. 3, 2010 when Carolina defeated Mississippi State 7-0 at home.
South Carolina fell behind just 11 minutes into the match after a miscommunication on the defensive end led to an Alabama corner kick. The Crimson Tide took advantage and snuck one past the goal line to get ahead early.
Alabama made it a two-goal lead in the 22nd minute when Carolina was called for a foul in the box, resulting in a penalty kick opportunity. The Tide’s penalty kick was stopped by Mikayla Krzeczowski, but Alabama followed the save and slotted their second goal into the back of the net.
Gareis started the Carolina comeback with a hustle play in the 23rd minute. The junior intercepted an Alabama pass and easily finished on the right side of the box for her third goal of the season and cutting the score to 2-1 in favor of Alabama.
Four minutes prior to halftime it was Riley Tanner who drew a foul on the edge of the box to set up a dangerous free kick opportunity. Harris stepped up and delivered on a free kick and found the equalizer just before the half for her first goal of the season.
With momentum fully on Carolina’s side, the Gamecocks wasted no time in the second half to jump in front. Zullo’s goal came just three minutes into the second half. The junior settled a pass from Claire Griffiths and sent a pinpoint shot to the corner of the goal for her third goal of the season.
Just four minutes later it was Bahr who found the back of the net. Her fourth goal of the year was set up by Zullo, who found Bahr near the top of the box before the senior sent a rocket over the Alabama goalkeeper to push the Carolina lead to two.
Carolina’s fifth goal came in the 72nd minute when junior Bianca Galassini was able to notch her first goal of the season. Tatumn Milazzo set the rookie up perfectly deep in the box with a pass from the right side of the box and Dixon sent a shot in that Galassini got a foot on to push the Gamecocks lead to 5-2.
The Gamecocks will be back in action on Sunday when they host No. 13 Arkansas at Stone Stadium at 2 p.m. ET.
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