For the second Friday in a row, No. 18 South Carolina went to penalty kicks in an NCAA tournament match after 110 minutes of scoreless play.
This time, the No. 3 seeded Gamecocks (13-5-5) claimed the shootout, 2-1, over Seattle (15-4-3) to advance to the NCAA Round of 16 for the second time in school history. With senior All-American keeper Sabrina D’Angelo out of the net because of an injury, freshman Abbey Crider stepped in to earn her first career shutout and to make two crucial saves in penalty kicks.
On a corner kick with less than a minute left, the referee stopped the clock to issue yellow cards to both Leach and Seattle’s Isabelle Butterfeld. The caution was Leach’s second of the day, leaving the Gamecocks to finish the match down a player.
The Gamecocks stayed with the same penalty kick order as last week’s shootout against Clemson. Down 0-1 after the first two rounds, Crider made a diving save to her right and Lindsey Lane converted to level the contest.
Crider made a spectacular save to her right on Stephanie Spiekerman’s chance and put the game on Chelsea Drennan’s foot. The Gamecocks clinched last week’s PKs before Drennan had the opportunity to shoot. This week she calmly stepped up to the spot and powered a kick low and left to advance South Carolina to the Round of 16.