South Carolina wasn't expected to struggle with the SWAC’s Alabama State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. While they are set to face a little more of a challenge in the second round, the #1 seed didn’t have any issues on Friday at Stone Stadium as they bulldozed the Hornets, 7-0, in Shelley Smith’s 200th win.
The Gamecocks dominated play from the opening whistle. It took them just 8:13 to find the net as Savannah McCaskill knocked home her 17th of the season to make it 1-0. From there, it was smooth sailing. Sophie Groff added her 7th at the 12:38 mark, followed by Dajia Griffin’s third (16:32), Chelsea Drennan’s seventh (25:27), freshman Elexa Bahr’s first career strike (34:09) and the first of the season for senior Claire Studebaker (44:44). Groff’s second of the game, at 53:34, ended the scoring blitz for the Gamecocks.
It was a complete dismantling for Carolina, who held a 29-1 shot advantage (7-0 in shots on goal) and a 10-0 edge in corners. Mikayla Krzeczowski and Hunter Peifer each played a half in net for USC on Friday with the result well in hand at the break.
South Carolina faces either Oklahoma State or Colorado in the next round. The Cowgirls and Buffaloes play on Saturday at 2pm in Boulder, Colorado.