COLUMBIA, S.C. -
No. 12 South Carolina (3-0-0) extended their home winning streak to a program-best 13 straight on a golden goal from junior Raina Johnson in the 104th minute to defeat No. 22 Boston University (2-1-0) 1-0 in double overtime. The Friday night match in Stone Stadium was a part of the Gamecocks' Garnet & Black Classic that continues on Sunday.
Sophomore Sophie Groff tallied the first assist of her career and her first point of the season on the game-winning play, using some nifty footwork to get past her defender. After Groff found Johnson near the middle of the field, the Gamecock went to work just inside of the 18-yard box. Johnson let loose a shot from her right foot that went across the goalmouth, past the diving Terrier goalie and into the left corner for the win.
Early on, South Carolina created several chances, recording four shots in the first nine minutes. Johnson nearly scored in the ninth minute in a one-on-one opportunity, but she chipped the chance just high of the goal.
Then, defense was the story over as the teams settled into a battle, with each side closing down on nearly every chance in their opponents attacking third.
Senior Taylor Leach and sophomore Chelsea Drennan nearly teamed up on a corner kick in the 58th minute, but Leach's header didn't fool Terrier keeper Alyssa Parisi who recorded one of her six saves.
In the 76th minute, sophomores Kaleigh Kurtz and Paige Bendell came close to giving the Gamecocks a late 1-0 lead. Kurtz found Bendell on a free kick, but the header went just wide of the opposite post.
After 90 minutes of scoreless play, the game went to overtime. Each team recorded a shot in the first extra period, but couldn't find net. With the clock running out, Johnson punched in the winner four minutes into the second overtime.
In the 104th minute, sophomore Sophie Groff connected with junior Raina Johnson to net the game-winning goal in shot that streaked across the goalmouth and into the left corner.
The Gamecocks limited Boston to just four shots in the nearly 104 minutes of play. Two of the shots were on frame. The Gamecocks put seven of their 14 on target.
The double overtime win extends the Gamecocks' winning streak at Stone Stadium to 13 straight contests, longest in program history
The Gamecocks' last double overtime win also came against a ranked opponent, a 2-1 result at No. 8 Florida on Oct. 4, 2014.
South Carolina's last shutout victory over a ranked opponent came in the last match-up between ranked opponents at Stone Stadium, a 1-0 win over then-No.7 Duke.
South Carolina improves to 8-16-5 at home against ranked opponents and is 3-2-1 in its last six matches when pitted against teams in the top 25.
After leading the Gamecocks in scoring in 2013 with 10 goals, junior Raina Johnson now has two tallies in 2014, netting the game-winner in back-to-back matches.
The assist on the game-winner was the first assist of sophomore Sophie Groff's career and her first points of the season.
Tonight's win is South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith's 199th career victory.
Quotable South Carolina Head Coach Shelley Smith
It (Johnson's game-winner) was a great goal and it couldn't come soon enough. We were excited to finish one. We had some good looks and good chances tonight. We did a great job of placing at the end and getting the goal that we needed to win.
Raina Johnson, Junior Forward
Sophie gave me a perfect pass inside. We talked about playing feet and one and two-touch all night and we finally connected at the end. She played right to my feet. I was able to deal with it and get it in the net.
The Gamecocks face Milwaukee in their second and final match of the Garnet & Black Classic on Sunday at approximately 2:30 p.m. Milwaukee defeated the College of Charleston 4-2 earlier on Friday. No. 22 Boston University and the College of Charleston are set to play before South Carolina's match at 12 p.m. on Sunday.