GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Senior centerback Taylor Leach netted a pair of second-half goals to give No. 14 South Carolina a 2-0 win at East Carolina in the season opener on Friday night in Johnson Soccer Stadium.
The Gamecocks kept possession for most of the first half, and the few times when the Pirates moved the ball into their attacking third, the South Carolina defense thwarted any opportunities.In the ninth minute freshman Savannah McCaskill saw an excellent chance off a long ball from Christa Neary, firing a shot toward goal on a one-on-one opportunity. The ball hit the crossbar and bounced down.
From the opening whistle of the second half, the Gamecock offense began to click, and they struck in the 50th minute.
After an ECU foul, Leach found the net on a header setup by a free kick from senior Andie Romness. She took the shot from nearly 30 yards out. The goal put South Carolina ahead 1-0.
In the 62nd minute, an ECU corner kick provided the Pirates one of their best chances of the night, but South Carolina goalie Sabrina D'Angelo snatched the ball out of the air. The Pirates recorded just two shots on the night.
Three minutes later, the Gamecocks earned the first of three corner kicks. The third time proved to be the charm for South Carolina as sophomore Chelsea Drennan served a ball into the box and found Leach on the other end. Leach netted her second goal of the night on another header. The defender's contribution gave South Carolina a 2-0 advantage that held for the final score.