Gamecock women’s soccer announces spring schedule
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina women’s soccer program has announced the 2021 spring women’s soccer schedule, which includes five matches at Stone Stadium. After completing 10 matches in the fall, the Gamecocks aim to make an appearance in the 2021 NCAA Tournament during the spring with a total of seven matches scheduled before the April 18 NCAA Women’s Soccer Selection Show.
“We’re excited to just be able to play some games this spring,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “We put ourselves in a good position this fall and now we are aiming to continue and build on that and perform well enough to get an NCAA spot. That puts a lot more meaning into this spring season than ever before. We’re going to still have a ton of development and we are going to have some young players who will get some great game experience with not all of our seniors returning due to going pro, graduating and some having internships. It opens up some opportunities for those young players to compete after getting a fall season under their belts and getting that confidence.”
South Carolina finished the fall campaign as the No. 11 ranked team in the United Soccer Coaches poll. During the spring season the Gamecocks will play just one match per week with no SEC schedule formally put in place after the conference completed its season during the fall of 2020 where the Gamecocks finished 7-3-0 (6-2-0 SEC). Carolina’s first match of the spring will be against Charlotte on March 1, at 6 p.m., on the road. The Gamecocks have not seen Charlotte since 2016 but have defeated the 49ers four-straight times in their 11-match history with one another.
Six days later the Gamecocks return home for the start of a five-match home stand with the College of Charleston on March 7 at 2 p.m. The Garnet and Black have met the Cougars eight times in total with the Gamecocks holding a five-match unbeaten streak that dates back to 1997.
After a week off the Gamecocks get back into action with a pair of Sun Belt Conference opponents. Coastal Carolina will visit the Graveyard on March 21 while Appalachian State will see action in Columbia on March 27 with both matches starting at 2 p.m. The Gamecocks last saw the Mountaineers in 1998 while the Chanticleers saw action with Carolina back in 2018 with South Carolina owning a combined 4-0-0 record against the two teams.
A pair of Power 5 programs will visit Stone Stadium when the Gamecocks begin the month of April. The Texas Longhorns will visit Columbia for the second time ever on April 1 at 6 p.m., with the last meeting coming in 2011 when the Gamecocks prevailed 1-0.
Clemson and South Carolina will meet for the 26th time on April 10 at 6 p.m., when the Tigers travel down to the Graveyard for the first time since 2018. Each of the past nine meetings between the two teams have been one-goal matches with the Gamecocks holding an unbeaten record against the Tigers at home since 2014.
The Gamecocks spring season finale will be on the road against the University of North Carolina on April 17 at 1 p.m. The Gamecocks own a 2-2-0 record against the Tar Heels, who were the 2020 ACC Tournament runner-up, with South Carolina owning a 2-1-0 record in Chapel Hill with wins in 2007 and 2014.
The NCAA Women’s Soccer Selection Show will be held on April 18 with a reduced field of 48 teams in this year’s tournament. There will be 31 automatic qualifiers and 17 at-large selections. Action at the finals site for the 2021 Women’s College Cup is set for May 13-17.