COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 14 South Carolina (8-2-0, 1-1-0 SEC) was unable to overcome a goal in the 30th minute from Missouri’s Lauren Selaiden and dropped its home SEC opener, 1-0, to the Tigers (7-1-2, 2-0-0 SEC) on Friday night at Stone Stadium.
The Gamecocks mounted the attack and held the upper hand in possession during the early stages of the match. Shots from sophomore Sophie Groff and junior Raina Johnson were on frame in the first 11 minutes, but Missouri keeper McKenzie Sauerwein collected saves on the chances.
Missouri took a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute. Kaysie Clark fired a shot that rocketed off the crossbar and back into play to a waiting Lauren Selaiden. Selaiden quickly sent the ball back towards goal and past an outstretched Sabrina D’Angelo into the net.
Sophomore Chelsea Drennan earned a corner kick for the Gamecocks in the 42nd minute. Her serve into the box hit senior Taylor Leach on the other end, but the header went over the bar.
The Gamecocks looked for the equalizer early after the break and came within inches of doing so just seconds into the half. Savannah McCaskill sent a cross across the goal face to a waiting Groff who headed it towards the frame. The chance, one of the best of the match for South Carolina, hit the post and bounced away from goal.
Missouri had just one shot in the second half, a chance from Selaiden in the 63rd minute. D’Angelo collected one of her three saves on the play.
With just under two minutes to go, McCaskill went on a run and had a good look at the goal, but her defender blocked the shot, and Selaiden’s goal in the 30th minute stood up as the decider.
In the 30th minute, Missouri’s Kaysie Clark sent a shot that rocketed off the crossbar and back into play. Lauren Selaiden quickly sent the ball back towards net and past a diving Sabrina D’Angelo for the decider.
The Gamecocks outshot Missouri 10-5, but the Tigers put four of their five chances on frame.
• South Carolina is now 4-2 at home in 2014.
• After allowing just one goal in non-conference play, the Gamecocks have let two cross the line in their first two conference games.
• Tonight’s decision is the second time South Carolina has been shutout this season. Both matches were 1-0 losses at home.
• Savannah McCaskill led the Gamecocks with three shots.
• Missouri recorded just one of its five shots in the second half.
South Carolina Head Coach Shelley Smith
It was disappointing. All around, I thought that it was not our best performance, by far. We lacked in a lot of areas, and it hurt us. Give credit to Missouri; they deserved it. They came in and fought hard. We have to match that kind of intensity. For some reason it just didn’t show up. It was one of the first games that we’ve been disappointed by our performance. Today, we didn’t deserve to win that game.
On the Missouri goal…
It was unfortunate. We didn’t allow them a lot of looks. If anything, you hope you don’t give one up like that. If you do, you have to make sure you fight back and get one to win the game. This team is strong enough and capable of being better.
On bouncing back vs. Georgia on Sunday…
I have faith that they can do that. They’ve shown up before after a disappointing loss earlier in the season. That’s what we have to do. We do need to learn from this. It’s a good wakeup call for us as we go forward.
The Gamecocks continue SEC play on Sunday, hosting No. 22 Georgia at 1 p.m. Coverage of the second matchup between ranked teams at Stone Stadium this season is set for the SEC Network+. The Bulldogs also dropped a conference match on Friday, falling to No. 7 Florida.