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2021 Women's Soccer Official Thread

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2021 Gamecock Women's Soccer Season Thread


The 2021 season is underway! The Gamecocks came into the season ranked 17th nationally per the United Soccer Coaches Poll after finishing the 2020 season 1st in the SEC East (6-2-0) in a COVID-19 altered 2020 campaign that ended with an 11-5-0 record in the second round of the NCAA Tournament . They were also picked 3rd in the Southeastern Conference by the league's head coaches, behind a tie for 1st place between Arkansas and Texas A&M:


Preseason Coaches' Poll
1.  Arkansas
1. Texas A&M
3. South Carolina
4. Vanderbilt
5. Tennessee
6. Ole Miss
7. Auburn
8. Alabama
9. LSU
10. Florida
11. Mississippi State
12. Missouri
13. Georgia
14. Kentucky


Their 2021 Schedule is as follows:


Aug 12th (Thu) 6 p.m. - at Wake Forest (Exhibition) Winston-Salem, N.C. - WIN 2-0

Aug 19th (Thu) 7 p.m. - vs The Citadel Columbia, S.C. Stone Stadium - POSTPONED

Aug 22nd (Sun) 7 p.m. - at College of Charleston Charleston, S.C. - WIN 3-0 (1-0)

Aug 26th (Thu) 7 p.m. - at East Carolina Greenville, N.C. - WIN 3-1 (2-0)

Aug 29th (Sun) 1 p.m. - at North Carolina State Raleigh, N.C. - WIN 2-1 (3-0)

Sep 2nd (Thu) 7 p.m. - vs Boston College Columbia, S.C. Stone Stadium - WIN 1-0 (4-0)

Sep 6th (Mon) 7 p.m. - vs Charlotte Columbia, S.C. Stone Stadium - SEC Network Plus - WIN 4-1 (5-0)

Sep 9th (Thu) 6 p.m. - at Clemson Clemson, S.C. - ACC Network- LOSS 1-2 (5-1)

Sep 12th (Sun) 5 p.m. - vs Virginia Tech Columbia, S.C. Stone Stadium - SEC Network - LOSS 0-1 (5-2)

Sep 16th (Thu) 7 p.m. - SEC - at Missouri Columbia, MO. - SEC Network - WIN 2-1 (6-2, 1-0)

Sep 23rd (Thu) 7 p.m. - SEC - vs Vanderbilt Columbia, S.C. Stone Stadium - SEC Network Plus - WIN 1-0 (7-2, 2-0)

Sep 26th (Sun) 2 p.m. - SEC - at Kentucky Lexington, KY - SEC Network Plus - WIN 2-1 (8-2, 3-0)

Oct 1st (Fri) 7 p.m. - SEC - vs Auburn Columbia, S.C. Stone Stadium - SEC Network Plus - WIN 3-2 (9-2, 4-0)

Oct 7th (Thu) 7 p.m. - SEC - at Mississippi Oxford, MS - SEC Network Plus - LOSS 1-2 (9-3, 4-1)

Oct 10th (Sun) 2 p.m. - SEC - vs Tennessee Columbia, S.C. Stone Stadium - ESPNU - LOSS 0-1 (9-4, 4-2)

Oct 15th (Fri) 7 p.m. - SEC - vs Georgia Columbia, S.C. Stone Stadium - SEC Network Plus - TIE 0-0 (9-4-1, 4-2-1)

Oct 21st (Thu) 7 p.m. - SEC - at Louisiana State Baton Rouge, LA - SEC Network Plus - LOSS 0-4 (9-5-1, 4-3-1)

Oct 24th (Sun) 1 p.m. - SEC - vs Alabama Columbia, S.C. Stone Stadium - ESPNU - WIN 4-0 (10-5-1, 5-3-1)

Oct 28th (Thu) 6:30 p.m. - SEC - at Florida Gainesville, FL - SEC Network Plus - WIN 2-1 (11-5-1, 6-3-1)


Oct 31st (Sun) - Nov 7th (Sun) (TBD) - SEC_200x200.png?width=80&height=80&mode=  SEC Tournament Orange Beach, Alabama

Nov 1st (Tue) 8:30 p.m. - SEC - vs Auburn Orange Beach, AL - SEC Network - LOSS 1-2 (11-6-1, 6-3-1)


Nov 12th (Fri) - Dec 5th (Sun) (TBD)675-6753960_ncaa-sports-logo-hd-png-down NCAA Tournament

Nov 13th (Sat) 2:00 p.m. 1st Rd. - vs #2 Seed North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C. - ACCNetwork_ACCNX_Logo_FC_Pos_copy.png - WIN 1-0 (12-6-1, 6-3-1)

Nov 19th (Fri) 2:00 p.m. 2nd Rd. - vs Hofstra (Regional Site - Soni McAllister Field Los Angeles, CA.) - WIN 3-0 (13-6-1, 6-3-1)

Nov 21st (Sun) 3:00 p.m. Sweet Sixteen - vs Penn State (Regional Site - Soni McAllister Field Los Angeles, CA.) - P12_248x140.png- WIN 2-0 (14-6-1, 6-3-1)

Nov 27th (Sat) 7:00 p.m. Elite Eight - vs Brigham Young (Provo, UT.) - byutv_2010.png - LOSS 1-4 (14-7-1, 6-3-1)

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The Gamecocks return 21 of the 26 letterwinners that led the team to the top of the SEC East (6-2-0) in a COVID-19 altered 2020 campaign that ended with an 11-5-0 record in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The returning group includes the team's top three goal scorers and four fifth-year seniors who chose to return for their bonus year of eligibility. Headlining the group are 2020 United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region selections Jyllissa Harris and Lauren Chang along with top scorer Catherine Barry.
Head coach Shelley Smith also return both goalkeepers who split time last season and three defenders that combined to allow opponents just 14 goals in 16 games last season.
South Carolina has not finished outside the SEC's top three since 2015, claiming the SEC regular-season title three times in that five-year span.

The 2021 Roster is as follows:


 0   Goalkeeper 5'8"  -  Taylor Fox  - Sophomore Titusville, Fla. Titusville High School

 1   Goalkeeper 5'7" -  Heather Hinz  - Junior Laytonsville, Md. Our Lady of Good Counsel

 3   Forward 5'8" –  Ranya Senhaji  - Sophomore Tinton Falls, N.J. Monmouth Regional High School

 4   Defender 5'9" –  Remi Swartz  - Graduate Student Sanford, N.C. Cary Academy

 5   Forward 5'3"   Luciana Zullo - Graduate Student Flemington, N.J. Hunterdon Central Regional

 6   Defender 5'8" –  Camryn Dixon - Junior Cary, N.C. Green Hope High School

 7   Forward 5'9" –  Payton Patrick - Freshman Parkton, Md. Hereford High School

 8   Defender 5'10" –  Hallie Meadows - Sophomore Mountain Brook, Ala. Mountain Brook High School

 10   Forward 6'0" –  Catherine Barry - Sophomore Hingham, Mass. Tabor Academy

 13   Midfielder 5'5" –  Megan Spiehs - Freshman Hilton Head Island, S.C. Hilton Head High School

 14   Midfielder 5'7" –  Brianna Behm - Sophomore Williamsburg, Va. Jamestown High School

 15   Forward/Midfielder 5'5" –  Riane Coman - Junior Charleston, S.C. Academic Magnet High School

 16   Defender 5'5" –  Abby Hugo - Junior Cary, N.C. Panther Creek High School

 17   Defender 5'8" –  Caitlyn Leffler - Sophomore Livingston, N.J. Livingston High School

 18   Midfielder 5'6" –  Brigitte Bussiere - Freshman Monroe Township, N.J. Monroe Township High School

 19   Forward 5'9" –  Eveleen Hahn - Junior Lake Wylie, S.C. Charlotte Catholic High School

 20   Forward 5'3" –  Corinna Zullo - Sophomore Flemington, N.J. Hunterdon Central Regional High School

 21   Defender –  Taylor Jacobson - Freshman Orlando, Fla. Lake Nona High School

 22   Forward 5'7" –  Ryan Gareis - Graduate Student Naperville, Ill. Neuqua Valley

 23   Midfielder 5'5" –  Samantha Chang - Redshirt Junior Mississauga, Ontario John Fraser Secondary School

 24   Midfielder 5'3" –  Lauren Chang - Graduate Student Alpharetta, Ga. Cambridge

 25   Midfielder 5'4" –  Lily Render - Freshman Centreville, Va. Westfield High School

 26   Midfielder 5'2" –  Claire Griffiths - Redshirt Senior Wake Forest, N.C. Millbrook

 27   Goalkeeper 5'9" –  Anne Frances Lorio - Junior Charlotte, N.C. Christ the King Catholic High School

 28   Defender 5'11" –  Emma Bucci - Freshman Myrtle Beach, S.C. Carolina Forest High School

 29   Defender 5'9" –  Sutton Jones - Senior Fort Mill, S.C. Charlotte Latin

 31   Midfielder 5'8" –  Rylee Forster - Sophomore Jacksonville, Fla. Providence School

 33   Midfielder 5'8" –  Jyllissa Harris - Senior Hazlet, N.J. Red Bank Catholic School

 49   Defender 5'5" –  Sarah Eskew - Graduate Student Centerville, Ga. Northside



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Gamecocks Stay Undefeated With Win Over Boston College

The 12th-ranked Gamecocks pulled out a tight match against then-undefeated Boston College to win 1-0 in their season home opener at Stone Stadium in front of 1,512 in attendance. Thursday night. Freshman Payton Patrick scored her first goal as a Gamecock, and the only goal on the night, when she rebounded a blocked attempt by teammate Corrina Zullo, and put the ball into the net at the 73rd minute of the match. The Gamecocks improved to 4-0 on the season, while Boston College fell to 4-1.

Patrick's goal capped off a second half for the Gamecocks that saw them attempt 16 shots and put five of those on target. Hinz would make one final save in the 86th minute to secure the Gamecock victory and her third career shutout. She finished with three saves in the match.
On the night, South Carolina out-shot Boston College 22-5 and held a 7-3 advantage in shots on goal. The Gamecock defense held the Eagles to only two shots in the second half.
The Gamecocks return to action Monday, September 6, when they host Charlotte at 7 p.m.



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Chapel Hill, N.C. -  Luciana Zullo's goal in the 81st minute gave the South Carolina women's soccer team a 1-0 victory over second-seeded North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday afternoon (Nov. 13). The Gamecocks are now 12-6-1 on the season and advance to the NCAA second round for the sixth consecutive season.
"An amazing performance," head coach Shelley Smith said. "I'm so proud of this team. They came out today and did the job they needed to do. Everyone played a role and I'm just really proud of their effort."
It was a quiet first half as both sides settled in defensively early. Each side accounted for four total shots with UNC holding a 2-1 shot on goal advantage. The Gamecock's best opportunity came in the 16th minute when Catherine Barry put one off her left foot from inside the 6-yard box that was saved by the UNC goalkeeper. Gamecock goalie Heather Hinz accounted for two of her three saves in the first half as she earned her fifth shutout of the season.
After a scoreless first half, the two sides began the second half with more defensive pressure. The Gamecocks were able to earn an early opportunity when Remi Swartz put a shot on target in the 52nd minute.
South Carolina's defense came up big on multiple occasion, one of the biggest coming in the 69th minute when Swartz and Claire Griffiths blocked two UNC shots from inside the 6-yard box.
The Gamecocks broke through the Tar Heel defense in the 81st minute. Ryan Gareis came up the left sideline on a give-and-go with Lauren Chang. After Chang received the ball back, she quickly found Zullo unmarked at the top of the 18-yard box. Zullo settled the ball and with a quick left-footed strike, found the wide-open right side of the net. The goal was Zullo's second of the season and her ninth career game-winning goal. The assist was Chang's ninth of the season.
"Chang played it over, I took a touch with my left foot and slotted it into the bottom right corner," Zullo said of the goal. "It just fell the right way and I'm so happy I could capitalize off of that for my team."
UNC had a pair of shots in the final minute, but neither was on goal as the Gamecocks won in Chapel Hill for the third straight time. It's the first time UNC has been eliminated in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in its 40-year history.
For the game, UNC held an 11-9 shot advantage, while each side finished with three shots on goal.
South Carolina will face Hofstra (17-3-1), who defeated Providence 3-0 Saturday afternoon. The Gamecocks and Pride will faceoff Friday, November 19, at Southern California with the time to be determined. It will be the first meeting between the two programs.



The defeat ends the Tarheels' season at 12-2-4, 5-2-3 in ACC play. North Carolina came into the tournament as a #2 Seed. In Tarheel head coach Anson Dorrance’s 45 years with UNC, the Tar Heels have never lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament, notching a historic 39-0 opening round record heading into today's match. Moreover, North Carolina has made it to the third round 38 of those 39 times, so they've only lost once before in 78 previous NCAAT matches in the first two rounds of play, before today's loss.




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LOS ANGELES – The South Carolina women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, as the Gamecocks defeated Hofstra 3-0 Friday afternoon (Nov. 19). The win improves Carolina to 13-6-1 on the season. The Gamecocks now face Penn State Sunday, November 21 at noon PT/ 3 p.m. ET. The Nittany Lions advanced past Regional host and #3-Seed Southern California Friday 5-2 on penalty kicks after ending regulation and overtime tied with the Trojans 2-2.
"It's always wonderful to win at this stage of the game," head coach Shelley Smith said. "We're thrilled and I'm so happy for this team, especially this senior group. To keep the shutout, I'm really proud of our team. They put the goals in we needed to win the game and finish it off."
Samantha Chang had a career day, as she contributed to all three goals, being credited with a goal and two assists. Her four points are a career-high and her two assists are also a career-high. The Gamecock defense held the Hofstra offense scoreless, after they entered the match the 21st ranked offense in the country. The South Carolina offense was also rolling as the three goals were the most allowed by the Hofstra defense, which came into the contest second in the nation in shutouts and third in goals against average.
After an early shot on goal in the second minute by Hofstra, the Gamecock defense was able to hold the Pride without a shot on goal through the rest of the first half.
South Carolina put home the only goal it would need in the 22nd minute. A free kick by Lauren Chang found its way into the box. Catherine Barry put her head on it and Samantha Chang finished it off from close range. It was Sam Chang's second goal of the season, Lauren Chang's 10th assist, and Barry's third.

"I think the goal was really important for us to get ahead early," Chang said of her goal. "It was a textbook play for us. When I saw Cat headed the ball back across, no one was marking me, so I just had an easy tap in."
Holding the lead at halftime, Hofstra came out attacking as they attempted nine shots in the first 20 minutes of the second half. The Gamecock defense held strong as goalkeeper Heather Hinz recorded three saves during that stretch. 
In the 77th minute, Barry looked to score on a breakaway, but Hofstra's Krista Gostinello grabbed her jersey and pulled her down, receiving a yellow card in the process. The foul fueled Barry as she promptly scored her eighth goal of the season, crossing up her defender inside the box off a pass from Sam Chang.

The Gamecocks cemented the victory in the 87th minute. Sam Chang played a long ball down the middle of the field and found Ryan Gareis on a breakaway. Gareis out-ran her defender to the ball and beat the Hofstra keeper with a shot just under the crossbar. The goal was Gareis' fourth of the season.


Hinz earned her sixth shutout of the season as she finished with a career-high six saves. Sunday's match against Penn State will be the 2nd meeting all-time between the two teams, with both coming in the NCAA Tournament. The first meeting was in 2018, when the #3-Seeded Gamecocks were upset by the Nittany Lions 1-0 in the 2nd Round. The Lions would advance to the Quarterfinals before falling to eventual national champions Florida State 1-0. There should still be a number of players from both teams still on the roster that will remember that match....



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The South Carolina Gamecocks women's soccer defeat the Penn State Nittany Lions 2-0 to advance to the Quarterfinals (Elite Eight) of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. This will be the Gamecocks' fifth Quarterfinals appearance and first since 2019. All 5 appearances have come beginning with the 2014 season, and have come under current head coach Shelley Smith.

Both scores came in the 2nd half, as both the Gamecocks and Nittany Lions battled to a 0-0 tie in the 1st half. The first score came at the 48:19 mark of the 2nd half off the left foot of Samantha Chang into the top left of the goal. She was assisted by Jyllissa Harris. The next score came at 55:01 mark, from Luciana Zullo's right foot at the top right corner of the goal. Her goal was assisted by Ryan Gareis.



South Carolina will next travel to Provo, Utah to take on the #4 Seeded Brigham Young University in the quarterfinal round. BYU beat #1 Seed Virginia 1-0 earlier Saturday. The date and time to be announced at a later date....



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18 hours ago, FurmanCock said:

Good season, Ladies -- a top 8 finish.  Unfortunately, the fighting Mormons proved too high a hurdle to overcome, BYU moves into the semi-finals with a 4-1 victory.


Yep, not often opponents score as much against our defense. BYU's offense was just too good. Great season though considering the injuries the Gamecocks dealt with over the course of the season......

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And I'll just put this here until we get the thread for the 2022 season up and going: the future is only looking great for the Gamecock women's program:


Women's soccer announces top 10 recruiting class

South Carolina women's soccer head coach Shelley Smith announced the addition of 10 student-athletes to compete for the Gamecocks beginning with the 2022 season. The signing class was ranked in the top-10 by Top Drawer Soccer.




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