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Sept. 16, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Riding a seven-game unbeaten streak to begin the season, the South Carolina women’s soccer team has returned to the national rankings with a 2008 debut in all four polls released Tuesday.

Under head coach Shelley Smith, the Gamecocks peak at No. 20 in both the Soccer Buzz and Soccer America polls following a 1-0 victory against Marquette and 3-3 draw to then-No. 7 Florida State, both on a neutral field. In addition, Carolina is ranked No. 22 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll after receiving votes last week and rounds out its rankings with a No. 24 showing in Soccer Times. The week marks Carolina’s first unanimous Top 25 ranking since week five of the 2007 season.

The Gamecocks have also moved up in the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz regional rankings. Carolina ranks seventh in the Southeast region in both polls, an increase of two spots in the coaches poll and one spot in the Soccer Buzz regional poll.

Florida is the only other SEC school appearing in all four polls. LSU is ranked in three to round out the list of ranked conference schools.

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 freshman Kayla Grimsley has received national recognition this week for her performance in last weekend’s games, earning SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors in addition to being named to the Soccer America and Teams of the Week.