TAMPA, Fla. – Sophomore Claire Studebaker and freshman Savannah McCaskill recorded the first goals of their Gamecock careers to lead No. 16 South Carolina (7-1-0) to a 2-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast University (4-3-0). The final non-conference match of the Gamecocks' season was played at the University of South Florida's Corbett Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Gamecocks were aggressive early, recording a pair of shots in the first two minutes. When a shot from freshman Savannah McCaskill lead to a corner kick, sophomore Chelsea Drennan and senior Taylor Leach connected. Leach's header went high though. After the early action, the teams settled into the match.
FGCU had the ball in its attacking third for a few stretches in the first half, but couldn't generate many chances as the teams played through the muggy weather.
Ali Rogers took a shot on target for the Eagles after FGCU drove the ball deep and sent a cross back into the box. Senior keeper Sabrina D'Angelo was there for the save to keep the contest scoreless.
After a foul on FGCU inside the last minute of the half, D'Angelo came up to midfield to take the free kick and sent the ball in the box. After ricocheting around with a few touches inside the six-yard box, the Eagle keeper Brittany Brown misplayed the ball, and Studebaker sent it into the net for the score. It was the first goal of her South Carolina career.
The first opportunity of the second half came early. After a throw in, senior Christa Neary hit a streaking Sophie Groff with a cross, but the sophomore couldn't get enough handle on the ball to dump it in the net.
Redshirt freshman Lindsey Lane found McCaskill who sent a beautiful ball over Groff in the 55th minute. Groff sent the shot towards the far post, but was just wide.
Just 27 seconds after checking back into the match, McCaskill recorded the first goal of her career. Groff sent a cross from the endline into the box where the freshman was waiting to power the ball past the Eagle keeper for the final 2-0 edge as the Gamecocks did not allow a shot in the second half.