South Carolina women's soccer team defeated another top-10 team, No. 8 Auburn, in Stone Stadium on Thursday. In the comfort of their stadium, the Gamecocks gained another conference win with the support of their community after the devastation of the recent flooding in the city.
The Gamecocks came into this match against the Tigers after a strong start in the SEC with a 4-0-1 conference record. This team, led by senior forward Raina Johnson and sophomore midfielder Savannah McCaskill, looked to continue the Gamecocks' success with the game against Auburn, and they were without a key part of their offense, junior forward Sophie Groff, who suffered a partially torn ACL against Alabama and will likely miss the rest of the season. Junior forward Bay Daniel got to start in place of the injured Groff against the Tigers.
Auburn, a team second in the SEC behind the Gamecocks by one point, was looking to give the Gamecocks their first conference loss. With a win against the Gamecocks, the Tigers would have had an outright lead in the conference.
Auburn came into the match with an 11-1-0 record and a 4-1-0 record within the SEC. The Tigers were relying on their key players, junior forward Casie Ramsier and freshmen goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau, in order to pick up the top ten victory over the Gamecocks. Already, Ramsier has scored eight goals and Le Beau has just allowed nine goals in the Tigers twelve matchups this season.
The match started out early with a key save by Le Beau as Daniel tried to cross it in for a McCaskill goal. McCaskill would make up for that missed chance a few minutes later as she put one in the net for the Gamecocks in the 10th minute to give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead against the Tigers, her ninth goal of the season.
The Auburn defense could not stop Johnson as she found the back of the net in the 18th minute after an assist from McCaskill and junior midfielder Chelsea Drennan. The goal gave Johnson her fourth of the year, and Drennan picked up her eighth assist of the season, leading the team.
Auburn had a chance late in the first half to close the gap, but freshman forward Charlotte Van Ishoven’s shot for the Tigers that snuck past Gamecocks keeper Abbey Crider hit the post before rolling out of play. Crider did pick up a yellow card on the play as she and Van Ishoven collided, but the Gamecocks ended the half with a 2-0 lead over Auburn.
Auburn’s chance to cut the lead came in the 74th minute when Ramsier received a long pass and sent it to the back of the net. The goal was called off due to an offside call.
The score remained 2-0, giving No. 10 South Carolina a shut out win against Auburn. With this win, the Gamecocks improved their record to 11-1-1 and 5-0-1 in the SEC.
The Gamecocks look to pick up another win when they travel to Ole Miss on Sunday, Oct. 11. They then will return home to Stone Stadium to host Vanderbilt on Friday, Oct. 16.