The Gamecocks kept their undefeated streak and advanced to 6-0 after beating the University of North Carolina Charlotte 4-1 in Stone Stadium on Monday.
“Very happy to be on the winning side of things,” head coach Shelley Smith said. “I thought we came out really well in the beginning, obviously scoring early goals.”
Those early goals got the Gamecocks on the right foot out of the gate. The first goal, coming within the first minute during the Gamecock’s first possession, was scored by graduate student forward Luciana Zullo and assisted by graduate student forward Ryan Gareis. This was Zullo's first goal of the season.
The second goal was scored in minute seven by junior forward Eveleen Hahn and assisted by graduate student Lauren Chang. This was Chang's fourth assist, giving her a two-assist lead with a top team total of four on the season.
The game went silent for a little until Charlotte scored its first and only of the game in the 23rd minute. Sophomore midfielder Piper Biziorek is credited with the goal and freshman midfielder Macey Bader assisted.
The second half started as a physical battle, with the Gamecocks doubling their foul total in just 11 minutes. After another foul, the Gamecocks had the same amount of fouls as shots.
Smith wasn’t worried about that though.
“I’d rather have us be aggressive and compete,” Smith said. “Good fouls are ok.”
After more hard-fought soccer, the Gamecocks found the opening for their 3rd goal in the 77th minute with a goal from Zullo. The goal came from off a corner kick from senior midfielder Jyllissa Harris.
Zullo gave all the credit to Harris for the goal.
“JY just played a perfect ball. It was curving in and all I had to do was just put my foot out there and it bounced off and went in,” Zullo said. “It was all JY really, she put it in a perfect spot."
In the 88th minute, the Gamecocks squeezed out another goal, making the final score 4-1. Freshman midfielder Lily Render scored off a grounded cross from freshman midfielder Megan Spiehs to solidify the win.
South Carolina will hit the road to take on Clemson on Thursday, Sept. 9 in hopes of keeping up its undefeated streak against its biggest rival.