BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - On the heels of its first soccer championship in program history, Alabama State University's (11-9-1) maiden trip to the NCAA Wome's Soccer Tournament begins with No. 1 seed South Carolina (18-1-1).
The Hornets and Gamecocks will clash on Friday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. CST in Columbia, S.C. inside the Eugene E. Stone III Stadium. The contest stands to be a styles clash, as it pits one of the best defensive units in the nation against the most productive offense in the country.
In South Carolina, Alabama State faces one of the stiffest tests in round one, as the Gamecocks enter the postseason ranked No. 2 in the nation. South Carolina was unblemished against SEC opposition, putting up and 11-0-0 record and claiming the regular season title. A player to watch for South Carolina is Savannah McCaskill, a junior who scored 16 goals for the Gamecocks, whose .459 goals against average is seventh in the country.
SCAR net-minder Mikayla Krzeczowski was one of the toughest to get a shot past, as she had more shutouts (9) than goals allowed (8) on the season.
The Hornets counter with an offense that paced all others in the country in goals scored per game (2.95) and total goals scored (62). Leading that charge is 2016 SWAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year Ariela Lewis, who found the twine 17 times for the Hornets this season, including twice during the Hornets' SWAC-title winning effort against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.