Gamecocks Ranked No. 9 in the Nation to Open SEC Play
COLUMBIA, SC – Heading into week four, the South Carolina women’s soccer team (6-1-1) has been ranked No. 9 in the country by United Soccer Coaches. The Gamecocks will officially open up SEC play this Friday, taking on Vanderbilt (5-0-3) at home at 7:00 p.m. on SECN+. South Carolina finished the 2022 season SEC East Champions, in addition to taking home the SEC Tournament title.
South Carolina has been making the climb this season, beginning the preseason ranked at No. 12. After a draw with Clemson and a win against Jacksonville, the Gamecocks were placed at No. 15 for week two. The second week of the season saw a road trip up to New England, where South Carolina brought home two wins to shoot back up to No. 13 in the nation. The Gamecocks saw a steady climb over the next two weeks, checking in at No. 10 in week three where the team earned a win against Furman and fell in a close 2-1 battle against No. 3 UNC. Ranked No. 9 this week, South Carolina has outscored its opponents 21-4 so far this season and has grabbed six shutouts, the second-highest in the nation.
LAST TIME OUT
The Gamecocks celebrated its seven seniors (Bri Behm, Cat Barry, Rylee Forster, Caitlyn Leffler, Hallie Meadows, and Corinna Zullo) against Furman, capping off the special night with a 2-0 shutout. The win also marked the 300th victory for head coach Shelley Smith at South Carolina, and the 200th in Stone Stadium.
Barry tallied both goals for South Carolina, and tied her career-high of 10 shots in a game. Her 30 career goals place her at No. 4 in the record books, in addition to moving to the No. 3 slot for 15 career game-winners.
SCOUTING THE COMMODORES
Friday’s meeting with Vanderbilt will be the 32nd in program history, having met every year since the program’s inception in 1995. The Commodores currently lead the overall series at 15-9-7, but the Gamecocks have five wins in the last eight meetings. South Carolina last saw Vanderbilt on the road in 2022, falling in a tight match 2-1.
Vanderbilt last faced Middle Tennessee on the road, grabbing a huge 6-0 shutout to wrapout nonconference play. The Commodores saw goals from Rachel Deresky (2), Caroline Betts, Mia Castillo and Courtney Jones. Middle Tennessee put up an own goal in the 29th minute.
Gamecock fans will be able to utilize free parking in the grass lot located behind the Athletics Village Parking Garage (1300 Heyward Street) or overflow parking located at the Roost (201 South Marion). Fans will also have the option to park at any of the City of Columbia metered spots located around Stone Stadium (subject to fees required through the ParkMobile app). The Athletics Village Parking Garage will not be available.
Fans are encouraged to keep up with in-game updates on Twitter and Instagram, @GamecockWSoccer.