COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 5 South Carolina women's soccer (19-2-3, 7-0-3 SEC) dropped its NCAA quarterfinal match in 1-0 overtime match against Washington State (16-6-1, 5-5-1 Pac 12) at home on Friday night.
It's the third time in four seasons the Gamecocks have finished in at least the NCAA quarterfinals. South Carolina will graduate five seniors in Grace Fisk, Mikayla Krzeczowski, Elexa Bahr, Tatumn Milazzo and Rebecca Koch.
"Congratulations to Washington State on a great game," South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. "Such a close one. Both teams with a well-played game, battled it out. That's what you're going to find this time of year in the eight - great college soccer. Someone had to win tonight and unfortunately, we were on the losing end of things, but I could not be prouder of this team and the effort they showed. One ball ended up going in tonight and it just wasn't on our winning side of things. I thought our team played very well tonight and did everything they could. They showed a lot of heart and passion and that's what you want to see from your team, and I couldn't be prouder of them."
Washington State netted the game-winner in the 96th minute, giving the Pac-12 its third team in the 2019 College Cup. Mykiaa Minniss scored the goal, her first of the season, on a corner kick taken by Hanna Goff. The Cougars trip to the College Cup is their first in program history.
The loss for South Carolina wasn't for a lack of opportunities. The Gamecocks finished equal with the Cougars in shots with 15 but just two of South Carolina's were on frame.
The Gamecocks finish with just eight goals against, the 0.33 goals against average on the season is the best in program history and the 19 wins is the third time in four years that they've reached that impressive total.
"I just want to say thank you to our seniors," junior midfielder Lauren Chang said. "It's one thing to have best friends that are a year older than you, but to have people that push you to be a better person and player and or them to do that for us every year that I've been here and for us to grow together, I'm just so thankful for the people that are around us; especially the seniors. We've definitely learned so much from the people who were above us and they taught us to lead by example. My class is definitely going to take that into this upcoming offseason and into the season next year."