No. 6 Razorbacks Edge No. 10 Gamecocks in SEC Tournament Semis
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s soccer (7-3-0, 6-2-0 SEC) dropped its SEC Tournament semifinal match to Arkansas 2-1 on Thursday night. Arkansas scored just before halftime and added a second half goal to hold off the Gamecocks late.
“It really was a good fall season for us,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “We battled for championships and that’s where you want to put your team in the position to do. I’m very proud of their effort tonight and all season. To get to this point, through difficult times and circumstances, is great. I thought they stayed together so well. They truly showed the family that they are and did everything together.”
Arkansas’ Caroline Brooks notched the opening goal for the Razorbacks with just 1:35 remaining in the first half. After the Gamecocks failed to clear the ball in the box the Razorback freshman found herself unmarked facing the net where she buried her first goal of the season.
Carolina then found itself in a 2-0 hole for the first time this season when Arkansas’ Emilee Hauser added a goal for the Razorbacks in the 52nd minute.
Thirteen minutes later the Gamecocks got on the board in the form of Ranya Senhaji. The freshman’s second goal of the season came after a cross from Rylee Forster was knocked down in a dangerous spot in the box where Senhaji had to lay out to finish in the left side of the net. The goal for the Carolina freshman increases the fall total to 10, or 52.6 percent, of the team’s 19 goals.
Down the stretch the Gamecocks were able to find quality chances against the Razorbacks, but never found the equalizer. Carolina finished with two shots on goal in the second half and attempted six corner kicks.
The loss for Carolina snaps a three-match winning streak for the Gamecocks against the Razorbacks. Both of the Gamecocks’ losses to Arkansas in its last 14 years have come in the SEC Tournament. The Gamecocks will focus on an anticipated spring season that will culminate with an NCAA Tournament that will begin on April 30 and conclude on May 17.
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