Gareis Scores Gamewinner in 3-0 Rout of Coastal Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 10 South Carolina women’s soccer (9-3-0, 6-2-0 SEC) cruised past Coastal Carolina (7-8-0, 7-6-0 Sun Belt) 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at Stone Stadium. The trio of Ryan GareisJyllissa Harris and Catherine Barry scored in the victory with Heather Hinz and Taylor Fox both contributing to the shutout over the Chanticleers.

“To limit teams to what we have so far this spring is just special,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “Our team has done a great job to stay organized on the defensive end and communicate well with a different back line with Jyllissa [Harris] leading the way back there. Offensively, we knew coming off the fall that we were getting opportunities but were not capitalizing on those as much as we would of liked. To see that improvement here in the spring has been great, we obviously want to put more away if we are going to create this many opportunities but saying that it is just a positive to see what we’ve been able to do so far.”

It took just 46 seconds for the Gamecocks to get on the board against Coastal Carolina with Gareis notching the score. The senior received a perfect long pass from Lauren Chang and delivered a pinpoint shot on frame to score the eventual game-winning goal. The opening-minute goal goes down as the second-fastest goal in school history just edging out the previous mark of 48 seconds held by Paige Bendell back in 2016.

“It was awesome to see that first one go in,” Gareis said after the match. “We talked before the game about not taking any opponent for granted and to try and put one away right away. That’s exactly what we did so I’m proud of the team for that.”

“Our energy has been super high, even at training this spring,” Gareis added. “We’ve been having an intense time, but also a fun time in training that’s helped us connect on and off the field and it has really shown in our games so far this spring.”

South Carolina controlled the match from there on with Harris adding a second goal in the first half in the 22nd minute. The junior flicked home the goal after Lauren Chang lobbed a pass into the box that Barry sent across the box. The goal gives Harris, who started at the center back position for the second-straight game, scores in back-to-back matches and is the third of the 2020-21 season.

A second insurance goal came just 44 seconds into the start of the second half with the freshman Barry notching her team-leading fifth goal of the year. The Hingham, Mass., native intercepted a Coastal Carolina pass before finishing the strike on the offensive end. The unassisted goal is the fourth for the Gamecocks in their first two spring matches of 2021.

The defense was superb for South Carolina all afternoon, allowing just three shots for the second-straight match. Heather Hinz made her first spring appearance by starting in goal for the Gamecocks and freshman Taylor Fox stepped in at halftime to help secure the second-consecutive clean sheet for the Garnet and Black. Even more impressive was the lack of quality opportunities for Coastal Carolina with the Gamecocks allowing no shots on goal in the win.

Individually, Barry finished with five shots for the second-straight game leading the way along with fellow freshman Ranya SenhajiCorinna Zullo made her first collegiate start on Sunday with the freshman contributing three shots, including one on goal, in 51 minutes of action.

South Carolina remains at home for a March 27 meeting with Appalachian State. The match, scheduled for 2 p.m., can be seen on SEC Network + along with all home matches for the Gamecocks this spring.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks