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July 30, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Members of the South Carolina women’s soccer team have had a taxing summer that included an appearance at the U.S. Under-20 National Team Camp, players competing in the W-League, players competing with their respective club teams for a chance to compete for the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship and a pair of 2007 graduates that continue to compete at higher levels. Below is a recap of the Gamecock soccer team’s progress throughout the summer months.

Kim Miller (Jr.), Farmingdale, N.Y.

Junior and team co-captain Kim Miller spent her summer playing with the Long Island Rough Riders in the W-League and helped her team advance to the second round of the playoffs. Long Island went 9-3-2 in the regular season to claim second in the Northeast division. In its second season in the league, the Rough Riders went on to defeat the Boston Renegades (1-0) in the opening round of the playoffs on July 24 before falling to Atlantic division champion Atlanta Silverbacks (1-0) in the conference semifinals last Saturday (July 26). Miller ranked third on the team in minutes played and finished the season with one goal and two assists for four points. She attempted five shots on the year.

2143682.jpeg Brooke Jacobs (So.), Chambersburg, Pa. & Brittiny Rhoades (So.), Wilmington, Del.

Jacobs and Rhoades competed for their club team, the FC Pennsylvania Strikers, at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series from July 23-27 in Little Rock, Ark. After winning the state and region championships for the U19 girls group, Jacobs and Rhodes competed in three games in three days with their team in search of a national championship. The Penn Strikers finished with an 0-2-1 record as the Gamecock duo became the first participants in the national series since Leslie Lamb’s club team won the U20 title in 1998.

Blakely Mattern (Jr.), Simpsonville, S.C.

A team co-captain and returning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Mattern was invited to participate in the United States U-20 Women’s National Team camp held April 6-13 in Carson, Calif. Mattern competed with 33 other potential members of the U.S. U-20 team as she gained experience training with U.S. National Team coach Tony DiCicco.

Laura Armstrong (Grad.), Greenwood, S.C.

Armstrong finished the 2007 season as South Carolina’s all-time leader with a 0.82 career goals against average. That mark also ranks third all-time in the Southeastern Conference. Despite exhausting her collegiate eligibility, Armstrong competed once again for the Charlotte Lady Eagles of the W-League and led her team to an 11-2-1 record to claim second in the Atlantic Division. The starter for the Lady Eagles between the posts, Armstrong was the goalkeeper of record for every game. She allowed 13 goals in 1184 minutes for a 0.99 goals against average. She posted an 88.8 save percentage to go along with 47 saves and five shutouts. The Lady Eagles dropped a 6-5 overtime decision Northeast division champion Washington Freedom in the conference semifinals.


Darcel Mollon (Grad.), Chauganas, Trinidad

Mollon signed a professional contract in March to play for the Kvarnsvedens IK football club in Sweden. South Carolina’s first 20-point scorer since 1999, Mollon has been a leader for her team halfway through the season. With a 5-1-1 record midway through the year, Mollon leads her team with seven goals despite missing one game due to receiving three yellow cards in separate games. Mollon led her team to a victory over rival team Gustaf, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory.

“Playing at Young Harris Junior College and USC has helped me so much to be the player I am today,” Mollon said. “I would have to say that the coaches at USC challenged me for the last two years and it has helped me to develop an attitude of not setting for less! Because the coaches at USC did not on any given day say `Darcel take it easy,’ they were always expecting the best from me, and because of that I always wanted to give off my best!”