The Daily Gamecock

No. 4 Gamecocks women's soccer draws 2-2 with in-state rival Clemson

The No. 4 South Carolina Gamecocks ended its win streak against the No. 18 Clemson Tigers in a 2-2 draw in a packed Stone Stadium.  

After defeating the Gamecocks last year, the Tigers came ready to play and struck early, scoring two minutes and 55 seconds into the first half, setting the pace for the rest of the game.

South Carolina was forced to play a defensive game through the first half as Clemson led with 14 shots on goal versus only four for Carolina.

“Today we let ourselves down a little bit in the first half, credit to Clemson they are a good team. We had to solve some things, but we also gave away opportunities that we shouldn’t and we are better than that,” head coach Shelley Smith said. “We put ourselves under more pressure than we should have, so we got to take care of the ball a little better.”

The Gamecocks adjusted accordingly, and sophomore midfielder Megan Spiehs responded first for South Carolina, tying the game at one each right before the half ended. Spiehs’ goal helped fuel the Gamecocks’ fire going into the second half. 

“I'm very proud of the team to respond to goals down twice, that's difficult,” Smith said. “A lot of fight, a lot of heart and they stuck together. Especially in a rivalry game, there’s just a lot of emotion, so for them to never give up and do what they needed to do to not lose a game, it gives a lot of credit to them.” 

During  the second half, Clemson fired first, scoring their second goal. Junior forward Caroline Barry answered for the Gamecocks scoring the game-tying goal with less than 10 minutes remaining. Ultimately, neither team was able to pull out a win.

The Gamecocks turned the game around behind junior forward Corinna Zullo’s energy and she recorded the assist on Barry’s late equalizer. The home team led the Tigers in shots on goal in the second half. 

Despite the draw, senior goalkeeper Heather Hinz continued to prove she's a dominant force for the Gamecocks after being named SEC defensive player of the week. Hinz had eight saves during the game and allowed two goals.

“She came up huge with saves that kept us in the game,” Smith said. “The goals were tough, and it would be good to look back at them, but (Hinz) is usually going to save it if she has a chance and that’s the great thing about her.”

South Carolina was unable to top Clemson’s dominant shooting forces in the back-and-forth tie with the visiting Tigers. Clemson finished the game with advantages in both shots on goal, 10 to five, and total shots, 19 to 12.

The Gamecocks (3-0-2) will host the Furman Paladins on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Stone Stadium with its unbeaten record still intact.