After taking a loss to Texas A&M to end conference play, the women's soccer team will face the Aggies again on Tuesday during the SEC Tournament.
Emotions are high for South Carolina as they seek to find their missing piece on the offensive side of the ball.
“We’re looking forward to having a chance to get back on the field after a disappointing loss and playing the same opponent, you get a second chance” head coach Shelley Smith said. “So we’re looking forward to the post season ... these are games you have to win or you go home.”
The Gamecocks will have to leave it all out on the field and have the opportunity to fix some key aspects against the Aggies.
Smith said that her team should look forward to having a second chance to showcase its abilities because they are in a great position.
“We’ve got to be prepared for whoever it is and you’ve got to be prepared to play and move on,” Smith said. “It’s another start for our season ... There are teams at home that aren’t playing anymore, there’s teams even in our conference that aren’t playing. So that’s what we have to be excited about, is that we have another chance to get back out there.”
South Carolina’s post-game message was still positive even though several players were disappointed in their performance the first time against Texas A&M. According to Smith, the Gamecocks will need to regain focus and have a positive outlook and make sure that they do not give up chances in the final third.
“We have had disappointment, we have bumps along the road,” Smith said. “There's times that this team — part of this team — has experienced some things that have set them back and they've moved forward well.”
Despite having a young team, the Gamecocks will look to the leadership of the upperclassmen to carry the message onto the field. A major focal point for South Carolina going into Tuesday is finishing in the final third and getting the ball in the back of the net.
“As a team, we're just going to work on moving forward,” goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski said. “The regular season and the post season are two completely different seasons so we’re just approaching this as a brand new season, open-minded and we are going to regroup.”
Facing the same team in less than a week comes with anticipation, but Krzeczowski feels that it will be fresh so some things may “sting a little bit harder than others,” but it is a brand new game in South Carolina’s eyes, which brings a brand new approach.
Sophomore Lauren Chang admits her struggle of not being able to receive quickly at times during games to get a shot off. Chang has set a goal for herself to get shots off quicker so her team can test the keepers early.
“Just as a team, I think we're realizing we can possess all we want, but if we don’t put something in the back of the net, we lose,” Chang said. “I think we’re very very motivated to run for each other, to work for each other a little bit more, especially now when it’s win or go home.”
Kick-off for the Gamecocks' game against the Aggies is set for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Orange Beach, Alabama.