A 3-0 home win over Coastal Carolina Sunday afternoon helped the South Carolina women's soccer team stay perfect during the spring season, moving its record to 9-3-0 (6-3-0 SEC) this season.
The Gamecocks wasted no time settling into their attack as senior midfielder Lauren Chang played a long ball up the left side for senior forward Ryan Gareis, who scored just 46 seconds into the match to give the home side an early lead that they would only build on as the game progressed.
“That was awesome," Gareis said. "I know before the game we talked about coming out from the start, like, not taking any game for granted and trying to put one away right away so — and that’s exactly what we did so I’m proud of the team for that.”
The Gamecocks doubled their lead in the 22nd minute by a corner kick from Chang that was headed goalward by freshman forward Catherine Barry, allowing junior midfielder Jyllissa Harris to guide it into the back of the net via a header. Chang and Barry were credited with assists on Harris’ goal, her second in as many spring games.
South Carolina took a two-goal lead into halftime and added another goal shortly after the ball got rolling in the second half thanks to Barry, who intercepted a pass deep in Coastal Carolina’s half of the field, took it into the box herself and scored to give the Gamecocks three goals on the afternoon.
“They’ve done a great job, they’ve organized and communicated well, and obviously we talked about coming into this spring, moving Jyllissa back there who’s been a big help. She’s done a great job to transition to something she hadn’t been playing,” said head coach Shelley Smith, commenting on the team’s defensive performance.
Smith’s squad dominated in possession recording 28 shots, 14 of which were on target, while only allowing three shots from Coastal Carolina and none on target. South Carolina earned seven corners during the contest with one resulting in the aforementioned goal and only conceded two corner kicks to the Chanticleers. South Carolina has still yet to concede a goal in its two spring games.
“We don’t have a lot of defenders but the ones that are out there right now really been consistent and that’s been a huge help to us and allowed our offense to really be able to grow too,” Smith said.
The Gamecocks’ next match will be at home in Stone Stadium against Appalachian State on Saturday, March 27 at 2 p.m. The game can be viewed on SEC Network+.