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Nov. 4, 2008

#5 South Carolina vs. #6 Georgia | Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina placed two members on the postseason All-SEC teams as junior defender Blakely Mattern was named to the first team and freshman midfielder Kayla Grimsley earned second team and freshman team honors, the conference office announced Tuesday.

Mattern (Simpsonville, S.C.) earns her third consecutive conference honor after being named Second Team All-SEC in 2006 and First Team All-SEC in 2007. She becomes the first Gamecock to earn first team honors twice in her career. The defensive leader and team captain, Mattern has played every minute this season for a team that ranks in the top two in the conference in every major defensive category, including shots allowed, shutouts and goals against average. Mattern has three goals on the year, all on headers, and recently was named to the CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team.

“Blakely has proven herself once again to be one of the best defenders you can find in Division I women’s soccer,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “Her play and leadership on and off the field is invaluable to our team’s success and I am proud of her accomplishments of being recognized among the SEC’s best once again this year.”

Grimsley (Lakeland, Fla.) gives South Carolina its third member on the freshman team in as many years. Grimsley finished the regular season with eight goals and four assists for 20 points, making her only the second freshman and seventh player overall to score 20 points in a season at South Carolina. She tied the program record with a six-match scoring streak that began with the start of conference play, and she became the only freshman at Carolina to score a goal in four consecutive matches. Grimsley twice earned SEC weekly honors this season and brought home four national team of the week honors throughout the season.

“Kayla is an extremely talented player, and this recognition confirms the strong impression she has made on our conference opponents and the impact she has made on our team,” Smith said. “I am excited for her, especially as a freshmen player to earn All-SEC accolades among such talent throughout the SEC. With her commitment and competitiveness, I see her continuing to be an All-SEC performer through her four years here. We are excited about the job she has done for us already and what she will bring to the field in the years to come.”

Florida’s Becky Burleigh was named SEC Coach of the Year for the third time after leading the Gators to an 11-0-0 conference record. The league’s points leader, LSU’s Malorie Rutledge, earned Offensive Player of the Year honors, while Georgia defender Megan Tomlinson took home the Defensive Player of the Year award. Two Auburn players earned postseason awards as Katy Frierson was named Freshman of the Year and keeper Allison Whitworth garnered the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.

“Overall, I am disappointed that we did not have more individuals recognized with SEC honors, but it goes to show how competitive our conference is every year,” Smith said. “The pool of talent to choose from is outstanding, and we have several other players on our team that have had All-SEC performances throughout the season. Finishing second in the SEC defensively in most categories, I am disappointed we didn’t place another defender among the team honors, but our players know how much their own coaches rate their play this season. The play of Brittiny Rhoades, Samantha Diaz-Matosas, Kim Miller and Lindsay Small who play 90 minutes a game many times have had their best seasons yet. In addition, Mollie Patton has played an outstanding first season as well as Ellen Fahey who has played like an All-SEC freshman. I am glad we have such talent throughout our team, and I’m very happy for Blakely and Kayla who are well deserving of their honors and who represent our program well.”

Florida and Georgia led the conference with three All-SEC selections apiece, while the Gators placed three players on the All-Freshman team. South Carolina has placed members on the All-SEC teams every season since the program began in 1995.

Player Pos. Cl. School
Ameera Abdullah Sr. F Florida
Megan Kerns Sr. F Florida
Carrie Patterson Jr. F Georgia
Kylee Rossi Sr. F Tennessee
Molly Kinsella So. F Vanderbilt
Katy Frierson Fr. MF Auburn
Ashlee Elliott Jr. MF Florida
Malorie Rutledge Jr. MF LSU
Megan Tomlinson Sr. D Georgia
Danielle Johnson Jr. D Ole Miss
Blakely Mattern Jr. D South Carolina
Allison Whitworth Sr. GK Auburn
Brooke Rogers So. F Alabama
Lindsay Patterson Sr. F Arkansas
Kayla Grimsley Fr. F South Carolina
Nicola Holdsworth Sr. MF Kentucky
Melissa Clarke Jr. MF LSU
Christine Breaux Sr. MF Ole Miss
Jennifer Hance Sr. MF Ole Miss
Lauren Hyde Jr. D Florida
Bailey Powell Fr. D Georgia
Kate Hughes Sr. D Kentucky
Jaimel Johnson Sr. GK Tennessee
Katy Frierson MF Auburn
Julie King MF Auburn
Tahnai Annis MF Florida
Jazmyne Avant D Florida
Lindsay Thompson MF Florida
Ashley Miller F Georgia
Bailey Powell D Georgia
Mo Isom GK LSU
Kayla Grimsley F South Carolina
Chelsea Hatcher MF Tennessee
Candace West F Vanderbilt