Conference Watch: South Carolina takes charge in SEC

South Carolina moved into first place in the SEC when it rallied to beat defending champion Texas A&M, 2-1, and then downed Alabama, 3-0. The wins were the Gamecocks' seventh and eighth in a row and gave them a 4-0-0 record in conference play and 10-1-0 overall. On Sunday, the Aggies were upset at Georgia, 2-1, to fall to 2-2-0 in league play. Florida, the conference's other perennial power, was also 2-2-0 after losing to Auburn, 3-2.

Raina Johnson’s game-winner in the 89th minute -- her 10th career game-winner --  propelled the Gamecocks past A&M at Stone Stadium. The Aggies opened the scoring in the 10th minute on Ally Watt’s first career goal, but South Carolina produced the majority of the scoring chances in the second half and broke through in the 74th minute on a goal by Daija Griffin.

"It was good to come back after trailing at half," South Carolina coach Shelley Smith said. "We put a lot of pressure on them throughout the match, and we were able to finally find the back of the net. We were all over them on the offensive end and we deserved to win tonight against a very good Texas A&M team. I was so happy for Raina Johnson to get that late goal, and it was so great to see her score the game-winner. We played our hearts out, and everyone did their job tonight."

Johnson also had the game-winner against Alabama. Savannah McCaskill also scored in the first half, upping her team-leading total to eight goals on the season. Sophie Groff finished the scoring for the Gamecocks in the 55th minute.

Added Smith, "Coming off such a great win on Thursday, we wanted to continue that momentum. I was really proud of our effort tonight. Raina Johnson has stepped up, and it was nice to see her get rewarded again tonight with another goal."

SEC Standings:
No. 15 South Carolina, 4-0-0
Auburn, 3-1-0
No. 18 Kentucky, 3-1-0
Missouri, 2-1-1
No. 10 Florida, 2-2-0
Mississippi State, 1-1-2
Ole Miss, 2-2-0
Tennessee, 1-1-2
No. 9 Texas A&M, 2-2-0
Vanderbilt, 1-2-1
Alabama, 1-3-0
Arkansas, 1-3-0
Georgia, 1-3-0
No. 24 LSU, 1-3-0
1 comment about "Conference Watch: South Carolina takes charge in SEC".
  1. Ric Fonseca, September 28, 2015 at 1:51 p.m.


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