COLUMBIA, South Carolina – Senior Dannielle Au and sophomore Stevi Parker scored to lead South Carolina to a 2-0 victory over UNCW in collegiate women's soccer action Friday at the Eugene E. Stone III Stadium. It was the season opener for both programs.
Both teams return to action Sunday. UNCW is at Charlotte for a 1 p.m. kickoff while South Carolina hosts Duke in a 7 p.m. start.
"This was a great test for our young team tonight," said UNCW Head Coach Paul Cairney. "This stadium (Eugene E. Stone III) is a great place to play a college soccer match and I am glad that we had this opportunity."
Au opened the scoring in the 10th minute, using a through ball from sophomore Raina Johnson to stake the Gamecocks to an early 1-0 advantage. Freshman Chelsea Drennan was also credited with an assist on the play.
Parker doubled the South Carolina advantage at the 53:45 mark when she converted a cross from Drennan from the top of the box. Sophomore Coryn Bajema picked up a secondary assist on Parker's strike.
"South Carolina is very well coached and the Gamecocks made us work very hard tonight," said Cairney. "A good team like USC will pounce on any mistakes and this is what they did tonight. Credit goes to them for taking their chances."
Junior Sabrina D'Angelo recorded her eighth career shutout for the Gamecocks as she made three saves. Freshman Liisa Rahkola got the start in goal for the Seahawks and also finished with three stops.
South Carolina held a 12-9 edge in shots taken, including a 7-5 edge in the second half. Sophomore Morgan Leyble paced the team with three shots, including two tries on target. Six players combined to tally the Seahawks six other shots attempts in the contest.
"We did create some good scoring opportunities and with some more composure in the attacking third, could have scored a few goals," said Cairney. "The key for us now is to learn from this game, get tougher and bounce back. Seven of our starters were either freshmen or sophomores and this brings great excitement for the future. Our only focus now is to prepare for Sunday's game vs. Charlotte."
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