ORLANDO, Fla. -- South Carolina saw its historic NCAA Tournament run end Friday when it fell to No. 1 ranked Stanford 2-0 in the Women's College Cup Semifinals at Orlando City Stadium. The Gamecocks ended their 2017 campaign with a mark of 19-3-1 following the loss.
The Cardinal tallied a pair of first-half goals and controlled a majority of the possession throughout Friday's contest. Stanford ended the match with a 17-5 shot advantage and put seven attempts on frame. Carolina totaled one shot on target to go with one corner kick.
Stanford struck first in the 10th minute when Jordan DiBiasi knocked home a goal far post with a diving header on the game's first corner kick. Sophomore goalkeeper Mikayla Krzeczowski could do nothing on the perfectly placed ball.
The Cardinal struck pay dirt again in the 26th minute on another goal by DiBiasi. She one-touched a great pass from 12-yards out that deflected into the back net after hitting off senior Lindsey Lane. Stanford kept the Gamecock offensive attack in check for most of the first half, allowing just three shots and one shot on goal over the first 45 minutes.
The Gamecocks generated a high-quality chance in the eighth minute when freshman Ryan Gareis used her speed to break loose in transition down the sideline. She launched a gorgeous cross that located senior transfer Meaghan Carrigan. Carrigan struck a one-time attempt, but she was unable to get enough juice on it to get by Stanford keeper Alison Jahansouz.
Stanford played keep away from Carolina in the second half, controlling possession and limiting opportunities against a Gamecock squad that attempted just two shots in the in the final 45 minutes. Carolina's best chance came early out of halftime, when talented freshman Lauren Chang shook loose from the defense and unloaded a shot from 30 yards out that was blocked away by a Cardinal defender.
Friday marked Carolina's third meeting all-time with Stanford. All three matches have come in the NCAA Tournament, with the Cardinal winning each contest.
"Obviously no one wants to be sitting here saying that the season is over but I couldn't be prouder of this group, this team. Like I said before the game, we are thrilled to be here. It was a first time for this program, we are honored to be here and to represent the SEC. We told the players to not hang their heads, they've done amazing things for our program, and have accomplished great things. We just ran up against a better team tonight, Stanford is excellent. I wish them well and they deserved that win." - South Carolina women's soccer coach Shelley Smith
Stanford's second goal in the 26th minute by Jordan DiBiasi proved to be pivotal in the match, as the Gamecocks were unable to cut into the deficit after the score.
After pushing out to their two-goal lead, the Cardinal allowed just three shots the rest of the match.
The historic 2017 season comes to a close for South Carolina, as the team advanced to the program's first ever Women's College Cup. The Gamecocks were the only school this weekend making their debut in the NCAA Semifinals.
Stanford's two first half tallies were the only goals conceded by the Gamecocks in the NCAA Tournament. Friday marked just the second time Carolina allowed more than one goal in a match in the 2017 season.
The 2017 senior class finishes its career with the most wins (65) ever in a four-stretch in program history.
Senior striker Savannah McCaskill, a three-time All-American, closed her decorated career at Carolina second all-time in assists (34) and third in goals (40) and points (114).