COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina women's soccer (3-1-0, 3-1-0 SEC) held on for a thrilling 2-1 double overtime win over Vanderbilt (1-3-0, 1-3-0 SEC) at Vanderbilt Soccer Complex on Sunday afternoon behind goals from seniors Ryan Gareis and Anna Patten.
The Gamecocks scored first when Gareis found the back of the net early in the second half. In the 49th minute it was senior midfielder Lauren Chang who tossed a perfect pass to the left side of the box that Gareis one-timed with her left foot a shot that ended up on the bottom right of the net. The goal for Gareis is her first of the season and gives Chang two assists halfway through the eight-match SEC regular season schedule.
In the 75th minute of action Vanderbilt managed to tie the match up in a strange sequence. Vanderbilt sent a cross to the box that Carolina keeper Heather Hinz attempted to collect in the heavy rain, but the ball slipped from Hinz's hands and went just over the goal line before Hinz swung the ball back out of the goal.
With the match knotted at one, it went to overtime. The overtime match is the 13th time Vanderbilt and South Carolina have gone to overtime in 29 meetings.
After a scoreless first overtime the Gamecocks were awarded a penalty kick in the second 10-minute overtime period after Vanderbilt was called for a hand ball.
Patten, the Gamecocks senior center back, stepped up and sent the Gamecocks home with three points and back at the top of the SEC Eastern Division halfway through the SEC regular season.
Defensively Heather Hinz picked up her second-straight win in goal, making three saves in the win. The Gamecocks allowed 12 shots, but just four on goal while making just two fouls in over 102 minutes of action in Nashville.
The double overtime win for the Gamecocks is its first since 2017 against Notre Dame and their first overtime win at all since 2017 against Mississippi State when Luciana Zullo won it for Carolina at home.
The win, paired with No. 8 Georgia's draw with Kentucky, puts the Gamecocks on top of the Eastern Division with nine points and in control of their own destiny with just two more division matches remaining this season (vs. Florida, at Tennessee).
Carolina will have a short week when they take on No. 3 Arkansas on Fri., Oct. 16, at 8 p.m. on SEC Network +. The rematch of the 2019 SEC Tournament Championship will be played in Fayetteville.