After making to the Final Four in 2017, Gamecocks women's soccer is still looking to its younger players to fill in the gaps on their current squad.
One sophomore, Luciana Zullo, made a breakthrough on the season after leading her team to a 1-0 victory over Missouri Thursday night with her first goal of the season.
“[Luciana’s goal] was huge for her, I think she was due,” head coach Shelley Smith said. “I'm hoping she can build on that ... she's done well all year setting up others. I think she knows she can finish opportunities herself."
Last season as a true freshmen, Zullo led all freshman with 13 goals on the season and finished the third highest scorer on the whole team. This season, she struggled to find the perfect opportunity to notch one in the net.
Smith acknowledged how it is sometimes hard for attackers to find the back of the net during a game, which can be frustrating when the offensive players step out.
However, the curse is now broken according to Zullo.
“It was good to get my first goal of the season after kind of being in a slump, but just shows that anyone on our team can score on any given day," Zullo said.
Zullo has been an asset to the offense by creating assists for her teammates to score off of.
“Luciana brings a great combination of pace, skill and toughness to the field,” Smith said. “She has done a good job getting forward when she plays out wide in the back. She is very good 1v1 and excellent at finding runners in the box to set up scoring chances.”
The Gamecocks have supported her back and pushed her behind the ball since the start of her collegiate career.
“Yeah, that was a great goal, great effort by everybody,” goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski said after Zullo scored her first goal of the season. “She did a good job following it up and I’m happy for her, she finally got on the score sheet.”