COLUMBIA S.C. – Playing the top-seeded team in its region, Santa Clara women's soccer fell in a tight match to No. 5 South Carolina 1-0 Sunday afternoon in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
An early goal for the Gamecocks (18-2-1) turned out to be the only scoring on the day. The Broncos (15-7-1), averaging 3.2 goals per match during their nine-game winning streak and shutout just once during their first 22 matches, created several dangerous chances but couldn't find the equalizer.
Some bad luck for Santa Clara led to the lone goal of the afternoon. A shot by Meaghan Carrigan went off the crossbar but the ball went directly to the head of Savanna McCaskill who found the back of the net.
Maria Sanchez had the best chance for the Broncos in the 66th minute when she used her big left foot to put a shot on frame but South Carolina keeper Mika Krzeczowski was able to make the save.
Santa Clara keeper Melissa Lowder finished the day with two saves, including a diving stop in the second half that kept the game close.
- Santa Clara is now 0-1 all-time against South Carolina.
- The Broncos got 39 of their 51 goals from underclassmen this season and 22 from freshmen.
- The Broncos move to 53-26 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and are 14-3 in the third round.
- Santa Clara was playing without starting midfielder Alex Loera due to an injury.
- Santa Clara made the deepest run of any WCC team on the women's side in the tournament.