ECU Drops Season Opener, 4-0
Aug. 19, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Kayla Grimsley netted her 34th career goal in the first period and No. 21 South Carolina (1-0) tacked on three second-half goals, walking out of town with a 4-0 win over East Carolina (0-1) Friday night at the new ECU Soccer Stadium.
The Gamecocks got on the board in the 29th minute of play thanks to a successful penalty kick by Grimsley. Forward Danielle Au was tackled in the box by ECU goalkeeper Christiane Cordero on a 1v1, and Grimsley's ensuing penalty kick was placed perfectly giving Carolina a 1-0 advantage.
Gabrielle Gilbert added Carolina's second goal courtesy of an assist by Sam McGowan at 67:27 to make the score 2-0. McGowan fed Gilbert a loose ball in the box, and Gilbert rifled it into the net from 10 yards out for her second career goal. Four minutes later, Au beat the backline and slotted the ball past the keeper for the 3-0 lead before Petroni rounded out the scoring with a breakaway goal in the final minute of play.
The grand opening of the new ECU Soccer Stadium drew 853 fans for the matchup between the Gamecocks and Pirates. East Carolina put the pressure on to begin the game and tested the true freshman Sabrina D'Angelo early. Senior Amanda Malkiewicz fired a shot on goal at the 2:10 mark, but D'Angelo was able to pull in the save. Consecutive shots by Leah Bagonis and Mackenzie Semerad in the 17th and 18th minutes contributed two more of D'Angelo's four saves on the night.
Two Gamecock goalkeepers playing in their first career games combined for the shutout with six big saves in goal. D'Angelo earned the win after grabbing four saves in the opening 76:27, and redshirt sophomore Darien Vercillo grabbed two point-blank saves in the final 13 minutes to preserve the shutout.
Both teams recorded 10 shots on the night (six on goal), while Carolina used a 9-1 advantage on corner kicks, three of those coming in a 40 second span during the eighth minute of play.
Cordero played all 90 minutes in goal logging a pair of saves, pushing her career total to 97.
The Pirates will be back in action on Sunday, August 21 when they travel to Norfolk, Va. to take on former Colonial Athletic Association foe Old Dominion at 2 p.m. (ET).