Gamecocks Set to Face JMU in Opening Round of NCAA Tournament
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The No. 16 ranked South Carolina women’s soccer team (11-2-6) will be playing in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament for the 11th straight season, hosting James Madison (9-4-8) as the No. 7 seed. The appearance will be the 16th in program history. Friday’s matchup is set for 6:00 p.m. ET and will be live on ESPN+.
LAST TIME OUT
The Gamecocks come off a 1-0 loss to Texas A&M in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament back on Oct. 31. The Aggies held advantages in shots (16-9), shot-on-goal (5-3) and corner kicks (6-2). The lone goal of the match came in the 78th minute when Texas A&M’s Sydney Becerra took advantage of a cluster in front of the net, putting the Aggies up 1-0 with just 12 minutes to play. Carolina generated one more shot on goal down the stretch but were unable to find the scoring column. Fifth-year keeper Heather Hinz made an incredible kick save in the 89th minute keeping the deficit at one, giving the Gamecocks a chance in the final seconds. Hinz made four saves on the afternoon.
LAST TIME DANCING
The Gamecocks look to catch fire again this Friday as they embark on their 11th straight NCAA tournament appearance and 16th in program history. Looking back on last season, Carolina defeated No. 18 Tennessee and Missouri in the final two games of the regular season before sweeping the conference tournament clinching their third conference title in program history. The No. 13 Gamecocks defeated Wake Forest 2-0 before traveling to Durham where they defeated Harvard 3-2. A Sweet 16 matchup against the No. 8 Duke Blue Devils is where Carolina saw their season end, falling 2-1. Current senior forward Cat Barry had three goals in last year’s NCAA tournament including a pair coming against Harvard. Hinz made 11 saves across the three tournament games, with eight coming against Duke in the Sweet 16.
SCOUTING THE DUKES
Friday’s match will be the third meeting between South Carolina and James Madison. The two teams have split the previous two matches with JMU defeating Carolina 3-2, in double overtime back on Aug. 29, 2004. The Gamecocks evened the series in Sept. of 2006 defeating the Dukes 3-1 in Columbia.
James Madison enters off a 2-1 overtime loss to Old Dominion in the Sun Belt Conference Championship. It is the second consecutive season James Madison has reached the tournament final. Redshirt senior Ellie opened the scoring for the Dukes with a goal in the 52nd minute putting JMU up 1-0. Old Dominion provided the equalizer in the 62nd and secured the victory on a second overtime goal in the 108th minute. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Alexandra Blom made six saves in the match for JMU.
Freshman forward Suwaibatu Mohammed leads JMU with seven goals and 19 points on the season. Junior forward/defender Shea Collins leads with five assists and junior forward Amanda Attanasi leads with 22 shots-on-goal. Alexandra has started 20 games in net for JMU this season allowing 16 goals, making 69 saves.
GAMECOCK SEASON ACCOLADES
- Senior forward Cat Barry was named to All-SEC First Team, and forward/midfielder Reagan Schubach was named to the All-Freshman Team. Sophomore defender Gracie Falla earned SEC Defender of the Year.
- Barry enters tournament play with 23 points on the year via nine goals and five assists.
- The Gamecock back line is led by SEC Defender of the Year sophomore Gracie Falla, senior Hallie Meadows, and fifth-year Camryn Dixon. The trio helped South Carolina secure 12 shutouts on the season, six of those coming in SEC play.
- SEC Keeper of the Year Heather Hinz leads the Gamecocks between the posts. Hinz has 12 shutouts this year and has made 55 saves allowing just four goals in conference play this season.
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.