Gamecocks Move Past No. 21 Tennessee 1-0 Behind Chang's Overtime Game-Winner
Lauren Chang netted a goal in the 95th minute to give No. 3 South
Carolina women’s soccer a dramatic 1-0 victory over No. 21 Tennessee in
Sunday’s top-25 battle at Stone Stadium. The Gamecocks (9-1-0, 3-0-0
SEC) pushed their winning streak to seven games and remained atop the
SEC standings with the win, while the Volunteers (9-1-1, 1-1-1 SEC)
suffered their first loss of the season in the setback.
notched the game-winning tally after Carolina earned a free kick near
the top of the attacking third. Gamecock senior striker Savannah
McCaskill’s pass into the box found center back Grace Fisk, who used
her head to flick the ball towards the front of the net. Fisk’s pass
fell to Luciana Zullo, and the Carolina freshman attacker took one
touch with her chest to create a dangerous loose ball. Chang took
advantage of the opportunity and stretched her left leg out to poke a
shot past Tennessee goalkeeper Shae Yanez.
a defensive battle, as both attacking units were kept in check
throughout the match. The Gamecocks held Tennessee to just two shots on
goal and finished the contest with a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Carolina outshot the Volunteers 17-10 for the game and didn’t allow an
attempt in the overtime period.
The Gamecocks saw a great
chance to open the scoring in the 50th minute when a defensive miscue
left the ball with McCaskill with only the goalkeeper to beat.
McCaskill raced towards net before Yanez came off her line to make a
tremendous save near the top of the box. Ten minutes later, McCaskill
collected a pass from Fisk and ripped a shot from the left side of the
box that called for a diving save by Yanez.
freshman midfielder Breukelen Woodard had two chances to put the
Gamecocks in front in the 67th minute after gathering the ball near the
right side of the box. Her first shot was blocked, and the Rutland,
Vt., native’s rebound attempt sailed over the net and out of bounds.
Vols also boasted a pair of chance in the early stages of the second
half, starting in the 55th minute on a free kick from 32 yards out.
Midfielder Katie Cousins took aim at net and hit a well-struck shot
that was denied by a leaping save from Gamecock sophomore goalkeeper
Mikayla Krzeczowski. In the 58th minute, Tennessee forward Khadija Shaw
headed a shot that hit off the crossbar and dropped the ball in front
of the net. The Vols were unable to capitalize on the rebound, and
Carolina quickly handled the loose ball.
and freshman center back Jackie Schaefer played all 95 minutes against
Tennessee for a Gamecock team that put six shots on goal in the
victory. Carolina improved to 9-12-2 all-time against the Vols
following Sunday’s result.
"It was a battle,
and that’s what we were expecting – I’m not surprised it went to
overtime. We did a good job to limit a lot of their opportunities, and
I thought we had a lot of possession. I was very proud of the girls
sticking together and figuring it out. Someone had to break the ice,
and our kids did a good job to battle in that overtime period.” – South
Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith
midfielder Lauren Chang lifted South Carolina to victory in the 95th
minute when she slotted home a loose ball in the box. Chang is one of
four first-year Gamecocks to net a game-winner this season.
Carolina’s back line stood tall throughout Sunday’s contest, holding
the Vols to just two shots on goal throughout the match. Tennessee had
just one shot on frame over the last 92 minutes of the game.
The Gamecocks have won eight of their last nine games against ranked
opponents at Stone Stadium. Carolina moved to 3-0 against top-25 foes
this season following the win over the Vols.
• South Carolina boasts a mark of 9-1-0 in its last 10 matches against Tennessee.
Sunday marked the seventh shutout of the season for the Gamecocks.
Carolina has limited an opponent to three or less shots on goal five
times this season.
• Freshman midfielder Lauren Chang became the
seventh Gamecock to record a game-winner in 2017. Seven players notched
a game-winning tally all of last year for South Carolina.
Carolina’s SEC slate continues next week with a road match against No.
20 Ole Miss on Fri., Sept. 29. Kickoff from Ole Miss Soccer Stadium is
set for 8 p.m. ET.