Five Gamecocks Selected To SEC Preseason Watch List

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) – Former Irmo standout Savannah McCaskill is one of five South Carolina women’s soccer players to be named to the SEC soccer coaches’ Preseason Watch List, the league announced Wednesday afternoon. Seniors Dominique Babbitt, Anna Conklin, and Lindsey Lane collected the honor along with sophomore goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski.

Babbitt earned the start in 23 of Carolina’s 24 matches last season, serving as a holding midfielder. The Holly Springs, N.C., native boasted career highs for points (5) and assists (3) as a junior and provided defensive support for a Gamecock squad that ranked sixth in Division I with a 0.41 goals against average.

Conklin, a native of Randolph, N.J., transitioned to left back in 2016 after playing in the midfield during her first two seasons with the Gamecocks. She started all 24 games as a junior and helped Carolina notched 14 shutouts, including eight in league play. Conklin totaled four assists on the year and set up the game-winner in the Gamecocks’ 2-0 victory over Tennessee that secured the 2016 SEC Regular-Season Championship.

Lane, who has played in each of Carolina’s 67 games since 2014, tallied the fifth-most points (7) among Gamecocks during her junior campaign. The midfielder found the back of the net twice last season, including a tally in a 3-1 win over No. 11 Arkansas last October. Two of her career-high three assists in 2016 resulted in game-winners.

McCaskill turned in the finest individual season in program history last fall, setting program records for goals (17) and points (45). The 2016 SEC Offensive Player of the Year logged five multi-goal games and ranked second in Division I with 10 game-winning tallies. McCaskill, who was named to the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List along with Krzeczowski, earned NSCAA First-Team All-America honors following last year’s record-setting campaign. The Chapin, S.C., native enters her final year at Carolina 30 points short of the program record.

Krzeczowski, one of five Gamecocks to earn All-SEC First Team honors last season, enjoyed a historic first season in net for Carolina. She started 21 matches and posted a school-record 0.43 goals against average. Her 11 shutouts led the SEC and ranked ninth in NCAA Division I, and the Douglasville, Ga., native also paced the league with a 0.868 save percentage. Two of her 11 clean sheets came against ranked opponents during the 2016 NCAA Tournament, as the goalkeeper earned 1-0 shutouts against No. 20 Colorado and No. 4 BYU.

The 25th season of SEC soccer kicks off this Friday, with all 14 conference members in action. No. 4 South Carolina opens its 2017 campaign at home that night against UCF. Kickoff from Stone Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will air on SEC Network.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks