Sept. 15, 2017
No. 3 Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A penalty-kick goal from senior midfielder Lindsey Lane in the 76th minute pushed No. 3 South Carolina women’s soccer past Alabama 1-0 in the team’s SEC opener Friday night at Stone Stadium. The second-half tally delivered the sixth-straight victory for the Gamecocks (7-1-0, 1-0-0 SEC) and handed Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith her 250th career win. Alabama (7-2-0, 0-1 SEC) saw its five-match winning streak halted following the loss.
Gamecock senior striker Savannah McCaskill set up the penalty kick chance for Carolina after tracking down a long pass from sophomore defender Lauren Pinkham. McCaskill collected the ball at the top of the attacking third and raced forward before being taken down in the right side of the box. Lane easily converted the spot, rifling the ball into the heart of the net as Alabama goalkeeper Kat Stratton dove towards the right post. The goal was the first of the year for Lane, who played all 90 minutes against Alabama.
Friday’s contest featured a defensive battle throughout the match, as neither team finished the game with double-digit shots. Eight of Carolina’s nine attempts on the night came in the second half, and the Gamecocks ended the match with a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks.
The attacking units of both teams ramped up their efforts out of the half, starting with the Crimson Tide in the 60th minute. Alabama was awarded a free kick from 30 yards away, and midfielder Chatham DeProspo’s well-hit shot hit off the crossbar and dropped the ball in front of the net. The Crimson Tide were unable to take advantage of the loose ball, and Carolina cleared the danger.
In the 69th minute, the Gamecocks nearly broke through when Lane floated a beautiful pass to McCaskill deep inside the box. McCaskill took one touch before hitting a shot that sent the ball high.
Carolina had two chances to go in front 2-0 down the stretch of the match after seizing momentum with Lane’s goal. Gamecock freshman forward Luciana Zullo danced around the Crimson Tide defense near the left side of the box in the 79th minute before ripping a shot that missed wide right. Three minutes later, McCaskill displayed great footwork to free herself for a shot from inside the box. Stratton denied the chance after making a diving save near the right post to keep the Carolina lead at 1-0.
Gamecock sophomore goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski recorded three saves en route to her seventh win of the season. Carolina limited the Crimson Tide to just one attempt on frame over the final 45 minutes and outshot them 8-4 during the second period. With the win, the Gamecocks moved to 14-4-1 all-time against Alabama.
"Alabama came out and gave us a great battle – that’s what happens in the SEC. They’re a very good team, and I was proud of our girls to find a way to win that game. Lindsey did a good job to step up and convert under pressure.” - South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith
Senior midfielder Lindsey Lane buried her penalty kick in the 76th minute to lift the Gamecocks over the Crimson Tide Friday night. Lane’s goal came after the Lusby, Md., native’s first career penalty kick attempt.
Carolina’s defense grew stronger as the match progressed, and Alabama was held to just one shot on goal over the final 45 minutes of the match. The Gamecocks only gave up four shots in the second period.
The Gamecocks continue SEC play next week when they face Kentucky on the road on Thu., Sept. 21. Kickoff from Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
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