The No. 3 seed South Carolina women's soccer team defeated No. 6 seed Harvard 3-2 in the second round of the NCAA tournament Friday, securing a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.
The Gamecocks were dominant in the first half of the match taking total control early. The first goal of the match came in the second minute.
Confusion from the defense allowed the ball to roll past Harvard's keeper resulting in an own goal, giving the Gamecocks the first point of the match. Harvard nearly tied the game after the first shot of the game bounced off the of the woodwork, just missing the top of the goal.
In the 21st minute, redshirt senior midfielder Samantha Chang intercepted a pass and ran downfield, passing it to junior forward Catherine Barry who buried the goal in the back of the net to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.
The Gamecocks continued to control the first half offensively and defensively putting up five shots, including one on goal, and holding the Crimson to four shots the entire half.
South Carolina continued its scoring run in the 40th minute when senior defender Abby Hugo's shot was deflected by a Crimson defender sending the ball out of bounds to set up the game's first corner kick. Fifth-year defender Jyllissa Harris passed it in, and the ball was headed in for another goal from Barry.
The Gamecocks held a comfortable 3-0 lead over Harvard going into halftime.
Harvard came out with more fight for the Gamecocks in the second half. Within the first ten minutes of the half, the Crimson had taken three shots although all were unsuccessful in scoring.
Harvard's five corners in the second half helped the team get on the board. In the 80th minute, Harvard scored its first point in a similar fashion to the Gamecocks. After a corner kick, several players made efforts towards the ball, however, it hit off a South Carolina defender, resulting in an own goal for South Carolina.
In an effort to chip away at the remainder of the Gamecock's lead, the Crimson continued to put up a fight until the final minutes. With only three minutes remaining in the game, the Crimson took advantage of a corner kick, getting the ball past the keeper for Harvard's second point of the match.
The Crimson tried to tie the match in the remaining minutes but South Carolina's first half was enough to carry the Gamecocks to a 3-2 victory. With the win, the Gamecocks advance to the third round of the NCAA tournament landing a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.
South Carolina will continue its quest for the college cup on Sunday, Nov. 20, when it faces Duke in Durham, N.C. The game will be streamed on ESPN + at 6 p.m.