JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - No. 8 South Carolina women's soccer (3-0-0) continued its hot start to the season with a dominating 6-0 victory over Jacksonville (0-2-0) on the road on Wednesday night. The six goals are the most Carolina has scored since Nov. 11, 2016, against Alabama State.
For the second straight match the Gamecocks scored in bunches, this time scoring three goals all within three minutes and 17 seconds. For the third time in three matches, it was senior Elexa Bahr who notched the gamewinner.
"Tonight was a great night to get a lot of our players some experience," head coach Shelley Smith said. "We were able to pounce early, and it gave us a chance to rotate more tonight. It was nice to see our young talent meet expectations, because they have great abilities and potential and they showed tonight what they are capable of."
Samantha Chang followed up Bahr's goal just one minute and 25 seconds later. The redshirt freshman fired her unassisted shot from distance that found the corner of the goal for her first collegiate goal.
Wrapping up the barrage of goals was junior Ryan Gareis, giving her two goals in the past two matches. Gareis' goal was made possible by a pair of passes, first from Samantha Chang, followed by Bahr who slotted it to Gareis who then finished the tap-in goal in front of the box.
Just before halftime, Carolina earned a corner kick and struck again. Sophomore Frances Ann Matise launched the corner kick that found the head of fellow sophomore Sutton Jones to put Carolina up 4-0 at halftime.
With a new bunch on the field to begin the second half, Carolina again found its offensive energy in the 62nd minute. Freshman Camryn Dixon was fed a rolling pass from Luciana Zullo and finished with her right foot for her first collegiate goal. Dixon's goal comes in just her second career start.
"The team did a great job at finding open players tonight, and allowing them to capitalize on their opportunities," Smith said. "It was just great team play, and it was awesome to see our freshmen step up and finish their chances."
The fourth Gamecock to notch her first collegiate goal was Samantha Meredith. She broke down a pair of Jacksonville defenders, include the Dolphins' goalkeeper, and fired in the easy goal to put the cherry on the top for the visiting Gamecocks.
On the defensive side, Carolina dominated statistically. The Gamecocks outshot the Dolphins 30-4, and fired 17 of their 30 shots on goal. Mikayla Krzeczowski and Heather Hinz combined for the second-straight clean sheet, with Hinz making four saves in her collegiate debut in goal.
Carolina will have an extra day of rest before it returns home to take on College of Charleston on Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. Last season, the Gamecocks defeated the Cougars 2-0 at Stone Stadium.