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A look back at a remarkable season for South Carolina women’s soccer

South Carolina’s women’s soccer team lost to North Carolina 1-0 in the Elite Eight, but still enjoyed a great year.

NCAA Womens Soccer: College Cup-Championship Rutgers vs Penn State Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the second-national seed UNC defeated fourth-seeded South Carolina 1-0 to advance to their 27th College Cup (nation’s best). They are joined by USC, Georgetown, and West Virginia.

For the first time in national tournament play, South Carolina’s women’s soccer team found themselves trailing due to North Carolina’s Madison Schultz’s goal in the 22nd minute of a very hyped up Elite Eight matchup between the Tar Heels and Gamecocks. Sophie Groff’s PK that was blocked by GK Lindsey Harris highlighted the scoring opportunities for the Gamecocks.

Despite the loss, this doesn’t erase what has been a historic season for the team on the field.

Key Stats

21 wins marks a single season record for the Gamecocks (21-1-2)

South Carolina went undefeated in regular season conference play (11-0-0)

Five wins over ranked opponents (Clemson, Arkansas, Florida, Texas A&M, BYU) is a new season record

51 goals were scored by the Gamecocks, while they only allowed a combined 10 goals by opposing teams

Farewell to a Large Senior Class

Defender Paige Bendell was a key part of the Gamecocks’ back line; she has earned consecutive SEC Academic Honor Roll awards and finishes her career with five goals and one assist.

Forward Bay Daniel also has earned multiple SEC Academic Honor Roll mentions and ends her career with five goals and three assists.

Forward Daija Griffin was a contributor in major conference games such as the win over #4 Texas A&M in 2015. She added 9 goals and 10 assists and earned multiple Honor Roll mentions.

Forward Vanessa Kovar found time at forward and in the midfield during her career and tallied one assist to go along with three starts in 44 games of action.

Defender Evelyn Robinson earned SEC Academic Honor Roll awards in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and ends her career with two assists.

Forward Claire Studebaker finishes her career with two goals, including a game winner in 2015 against Florida Gulf Coast, and three SEC Academic Honor Roll mentions.

Midfielder Kaleigh Kurtz also starred in the Gamecocks’ stellar defense and added two goals and six assists on her career along with SEC Academic Honor Roll awards.

Forward Sophie Groff has SEC Academic Honor Roll mentions and made 81 appearances (63 starts) for the Gamecocks in the past four years. She was second on the team in goals in 2016 with nine (17 by Savannah McCaskill). Her career comes to an end with 24 goals and 12 assists.

Midfielder Chelsea Drennan was tied for the leading number of assists in 2016 (11). She has earned recognitions of SEC Academic Honor Roll Awards, 2014 SEC All-Tournament Team, 2015 SEC Preseason Watch List, NCAA All-South Region Third Team in 2015, etc. She ends her record career with 13 goals and a Gamecock-leading 40 assists.