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Dec. 8, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina junior defender Blakely Mattern has been named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Southeast Region team, as voted on by the women’s soccer coaches throughout the region.

Mattern picked up third team honors, marking her second consecutive year being honored by the organization. Last season Mattern was an NSCAA/adidas Second Team selection after earning SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors. She becomes the second Gamecock to earn the honor twice in her career, following Melinda Carter who was selected from 1999-2002.

“Blakely is one of the best defenders you will find in college among the southeast and nationally,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “I am not surprised by her recognition because I know she has earned the respect of several coaches she has competed against, and as always, I am very proud of her accomplishments.”

Mattern played every minute of the season for South Carolina as team captain and center back, leading the team to its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. She earned First Team All-SEC honors and was recently named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team selection. A 2007 Soccer Buzz All-American, Mattern was the leader of a defense that finished the season second in the SEC in shutouts (8) and ranked in the top two in every major defensive category, including goals allowed, points allowed, shots allowed and shots on goal allowed. The Gamecocks led the league in shots allowed (8.45/game) and shots on goal allowed (3.68/game).

The season was also one of her strongest on the offensive end as Mattern registered eight points on four goals, the second-most on the team. A three-time All-SEC selection, Mattern has started every game of her career and finished her junior season with career numbers at nine goals, five assists and 23 points.