D’Angelo Leads USC To NCAA Win Over Clemson
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — South Carolina senior goalkeeper Sabrina D‘Angelo delivered two saves in a nail-biting round of PKs to propel the No.3 seeded Gamecocks (13-5-4) past Clemson (13-3-3) and into the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A defensive struggle yielded a 0-0 tie after 110 minutes of play, and South Carolina rose to the challenge in the shootout. After the Gamecocks put the first shot on the board in the sixth minute off the foot of junior Raina Johnson, the teams settled into a quite first half with few offensive opportunities. In the 38th minute, Clemson drove down the left side to the endline and played the ball back to Abby Jones. Jones crossed into the box and Salma Anastasio headed it on frame for the first shot on goal of the night for either team. D‘Angelo wrapped up the save to stay scoreless. With just two minutes in the half, the Tigers earned a corner kick. Gabby Byorth served it in and senior Christa Neary cleared it for South Carolina to keep zeroes on the scoreboard after 45 minutes of play. The second half and both overtime periods were a defensive struggle with neither team able to generate dangerous chances. The Gamecocks had the best opportunity when Savannah McCaskill brought the ball up the left side and tried to drop it off for Sophie Groff coming up the middle, but Clemson‘s keeper came out to interrupt the action. In the shootout, the lower right corner was the target of choice early with both teams sending their first two shots in that direction. Claire Wagner stepped up to take the Tigers‘ third attempt, and D‘Angelo dove to her left to make the save. Lindsey Lane took the next shot for the Gamecocks and delivered to go-ahead strike. Clemson‘s Jenna Watson beat D‘Angelo to level the shootout at 3-3, but Bay Daniel beat Kailen Sheridan to put the Gamecocks back on top with one round of kicks remaining. D‘Angelo made the Gamecocks‘ final kick unnecessary by stopping Gabby Byorth to advance the Gamecocks after taking the penalty kicks 4-3. Game Changer The Gamecocks delivered on all four of their PKs in the shootout. Key Stat The two first-team all-conference goalkeepers combined for one save, by D‘Angelo in the first period. The Gamecocks‘ senior delivered two in the decisive shootout, though, stopping Claire Wagner on the Tigers‘ third attempt and Gabby Byorth on the final strike. Notables “¢ The decision is the first tie in series history. Clemson leads 12-8-1. The teams went to overtime for the third time in series history. “¢ Tonight marked the first time the Gamecocks have gone to PKs since the 2010 SEC Semifinals. South Carolina advanced over LSU in that contest. It is just the second time the Gamecocks have gone to PKs in the NCAA Tournament. “¢ Sabrina D‘Angelo recorded her 29th career shutout in her final match at Stone Stadium, good enough for second in school history (Mollie Patton-31). “¢ South Carolina is now 5-6-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 4-1-1 in NCAAs at home. Up Next The Gamecocks will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., to take on the winner of tonight‘s Seattle-Washington State contest in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Fri., Nov. 21.