Sept. 15, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina freshman midfielder Kayla Grimsley picked up two honors Monday as she was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week as well as a TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week selection.
She becomes the first Gamecock to earn SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors since the conference began separating offensive and defensive weekly awards in 2003. The TopDrawerSoccer.com weekly selection is the first in program history.
“I’m glad Kayla has been recognized,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “She’s obviously made a great impact on the team already as a freshman. She has stepped up and come through with some important goals for us.”
Grimsley enjoyed a strong weekend for the Gamecocks at the Auburn Soccer Classic where they posted a win against Marquette and a tie with No. 7 Florida State. Grimsley hit the game-winning goal in the 87th minute against Marquette for her second goal in as many games after also scoring last Sunday against Furman. She followed that effort with Carolina’s second goal against the nationally-ranked Seminoles. The strike in the 26th minute tricked the keeper to the far post for her team-leading third goal of the season.
A flashy player with talented footwork on the ball, Grimsley has been the catalyst in recent games for the awakened South Carolina offense that has scored six goals in its last three games after only scoring three in its first four games. She sports a .273 shot percentage and is currently tied for fifth in the conference in goals as one of only two freshmen to crack the top 10.
“It’s nice to see her get recognition for her accomplishments already,” Smith said. “For her to come back from an injury in preseason and step in and earn a starting role, she’s gotten better which shows the quality player she is. I think she’ll be someone to look at for All-SEC honors if she continues to play the way she has been so far.”
South Carolina (5-0-2) puts its undefeated record on the line when it returns home next Friday to host East Tennessee State University (2-3-0) for a 7 p.m. match at Stone Stadium. Carolina then closes out the non-conference portion of the schedule with a road trip to Western Carolina for a 2 p.m. match on Sunday.