Sept. 25, 2017
By Brad Muller | More Features
Savannah McCaskill’s list of career accolades, records and achievements continues to grow, and the South Carolina senior striker recently became only the third player in school history to record 100 career points, joining Kayla Grimsley (2008-11) and Jennie Ondo (1996-99). The All-American and reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Year ranks third in program history in career goals, assists, and points and is tied for second in game-winning goals.
“When I committed here, I wanted to come in and make an impact,” McCaskill said. “I’m not one who really looks at records and number of goals. It’s always nice to join great company, though. I want to leave a mark on this program.”
After notching a school single season record with 17 goals and 45 points last year while helping the Gamecocks win the SEC Regular Season Championship and return to the NCAA Elite Eight for the second time in three years, McCaskill said her mentality is not just about scoring goals, but that an assist can be just as satisfying.
“I love to assist people,” said McCaskill, who tied for the team lead with 11 assists last year, and leads the team with 5 assists this season. “I love to get on the ball and help create goals for other people. If I can get into dangerous areas and look for the goal and finish, then that’s in the front of my mind. If I can be a playmaker and set someone else up, then that’s awesome, too.
When I was a kid playing in my back yard, I would hit ball after ball. Every kid dreams of that one perfect goal.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about winning games. If I can play someone in who has a better chance of scoring, I’m all for that. Whatever I can do to help us win the game is what’s more important to me.”
That being said, with 36 career goals scored, McCaskill offered the five that were the most memorable, at least for now.
Scoring Twice, Including Late Game-Winner in Victory Over No. 5 Florida
“My favorite was in the game against Florida my freshman year,” McCaskill said. “We went up 2-0. Chelsea (Drennan) scored in the first two minutes, and then I scored towards the end of the first half. They came back, and it was 2-2. Then in the last minute of the game, I scored a header. That was a huge experience for me because I was a freshman. That has always stuck in the back of my mind.”A Brace to Beat the Rival
September 3, 2016: 2-1 win at home over No. 6 Clemson.
“I had two goals in that game to beat them. That’s always nice,” McCaskill smiled. “To beat them at our home was really exciting.”
Securing the SEC Title
“To score two goals to help us win the SEC Championship was really nice,” McCaskill said. “It’s really the full game, not just the goals, that I always remember.”Sharing the Wealth
October 27, 2016: 2-0 win at home over Ole Miss in regular season finale that clinched first undefeated regular season in SEC history.
“It was senior night,” McCaskill said. “I had a goal, and then I had an assist [video on right] to Sophie (Groff) for her to score on her senior night. That’s always big.”
Goal Number 1
“It was a cross from Sophie (Groff), and I ran through it,” McCaskill recalled. “I actually ‘chested’ it in. It wasn’t the prettiest goal I’ve ever had. That will always be a special one. It was nice to get that first goal under my belt. I had a lot of chances before that game to score, and it was eating away at me. I wanted to find a way to finally finish one. It felt good, and we won that game.”
McCaskill noted that the 30-yard goal she tallied this season at Wake Forest may have been the “prettiest” one she has scored. She also notched her first penalty kick this year for a game winner against Florida Gulf Coast. With a lot of soccer still to be played, McCaskill reserves the right to reflect further and create a different top five list, and of course a chance still to create new memories this season.
“When I was a kid playing in my back yard, I would hit ball after ball,” McCaskill said. “Every kid dreams of that one perfect goal. Everyone would love to score on a bicycle or scissor kick or something crazy like that. Any special moment that wins the game is great. A goal is a goal. A game winner is a game winner, and everybody wants to do that during their career.”
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