Gamecock Freshmen Provide Spark In 3-0 Shutout of Jacksonville
Aug. 26, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina freshmen Coryn Bajema and Stevi Parker provided the offense in a 3-0 shutout of Jacksonville Sunday afternoon in women's soccer action at Stone Stadium.
Bajema's two first-half goals gave her three total on the weekend, and Parker earned her first career goal in the 53rd to pace the attack. Fellow freshman Courtney Angotti-Smith registered two assists in the game, giving the Goose Creek native a total of three assists in her first two games in a Gamecock uniform.
Darien Vercillo registered one save in the shutout for the Gamecocks (2-1-1), her third clean sheet in four games this season. Jacksonville drops to 1-2-0 on the year.
"There are a few freshmen that have started for us and played a lot of minutes," South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. "We're impressed by what they've done. They transitioned to come in and jump right into the college game. Obviously we always have freshmen come in and do great things. There are a few that have come in right away, and there are more that are coming in and giving us good minutes. I'm definitely pleased with the freshmen."
Bajema tallied her first goal of the day at 7:58 after collecting the ball 30 yards out, turning and striking it over Jacksonville goalkeeper Jill D'Amico for her second goal in as many games. Just 20 minutes later, Bajema would notch her second of the match following a corner kick in the 28th minute. Andie Romness took the corner and found Christa Neary on the back post who sent a shot on frame that was saved by D'Amico. Angotti-Smith collected the rebound and Bajema tapped it across the line at 27:50 for the 2-0 advantage.
The 28th minute goal was the third consecutive South Carolina goal scored by the freshman from Lynden, Washington. She teamed with Angotti-Smith for the second straight match on the goal.
"That always makes a difference in the game," Smith said of the two early goals. "It was nice to see us come out and play well to start the game. It's always an advantage when you get that first goal to break through and not wait too long to finish your chances. That was a great way to come out today."
Jacksonville had the first look of the second half when Raquel Weckhurst earned a breakaway in the 49th, but her attempt was tip-saved by Vercillo to preserve the clean sheet. Parker would instead be the next person to earn a goal after getting the third tally for the Gamecocks in the 53rd from the top of the '18 with assists by Gabrielle Gilbert and Angotti-Smith.
Bajema came close to her first career hat trick in the 56th with an attempt in front of the net that was sent over the crossbar. Jacksonville also fell victims to bad fortune with a shot by Becca Massip eight yards out that was volleyed off the line by a Gamecock defender.
Neary tested Jacksonville's keeper with a strike from a free kick in the 79th that was caught in front of the goal. Neither team had a strong look in the final 10 minutes of action. South Carolina ended the match with a 16-7 shot advantage, including nine shots on target.
"I think we're more aggressive," Smith said of the emerging offense. "We're not waiting for things to happen. We're creating. That's what we need to do. You're not going to score goals unless you're proactive. It's just been a much more progressive offense these last two games."
South Carolina hosts Clemson in a rivalry match under the lights at Stone Stadium on Saturday, September 1. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.