The Daily Gamecock

Gamecock women's soccer defeats College of Charleston 3-0 in spring opener

Members of the South Carolina women’s soccer team celebrate a goal in their Sunday win over College of Charleston.
Members of the South Carolina women’s soccer team celebrate a goal in their Sunday win over College of Charleston.

The South Carolina women’s soccer team won its spring opener against College of Charleston 3-0 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 8-3-0 (6-2-0 SEC). The win featured goals from freshman forward Corinna Zullo, senior midfielder Lauren Chang and junior midfielder Jyllissa Harris, who played the game at center back.

The teams each held some possession in the first half hour of the match. South Carolina began to take control of the game near the end of the first half and settled into more possession in the third quarter.

"I thought our team did a great job at responding and coming out in the second half and playing much better and getting some goals because of it," South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said postgame. "We really dominated play in that second half. We were proud of them for growing and learning in just these 90 minutes today."

Zullo opened the scoring for the game in the 38th minute with a right-footed shot from the right side of the box that dropped into the upper left corner and gave the Gamecocks the lead.

At halftime, South Carolina led 1-0 with a 5-2 advantage in shots and took five corners without conceding any to the Cougars.

The Gamecocks dominated the second half with possessions. The team adjusted its formation at the half by moving from four defensive players on the back line to three, allowing for more attacking play and possession in the Cougars' half of the field.

Just over 15 minutes into the second half, a College of Charleston handball resulted in a penalty. Chang put it home, sending her left-footed shot into the upper right corner of the goal and leaving the Cougars' keeper behind. It doubled the Gamecocks' lead in the 62nd minute.

As the second half progressed, South Carolina recorded 21 shots to take its total to 26, 11 of which were on target. The Cougars only shot twice on the day. 

When Cougar midfielder Bunny Nazari was cautioned with a yellow card seventy minutes into the game, South Carolina was awarded a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box. Harris took the free kick and scored with a streaking shot that deflected off the crossbar and found the back of the net to all but secure the victory for the home side.

"That is kind of my favorite shot; my favorite part of the field," Harris said. "I didn't think of anything else but shoot it, and I was excited to see that go in for our team and for it to help us get the win today."

South Carolina will remain at Stone Stadium for its match against Coastal Carolina on March 21 in its second of four consecutive home games.