Jan. 29, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Junior defender Blakely Mattern earned All-Southeast Region honors for the third consecutive year and Kayla Grimsley was named to the All-Freshman team as Soccer Buzz magazine released its postseason honors today. Mattern picked up second team honors by the women’s soccer specialty publication after previously earning third team all-region honors by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Mattern (Simpsonville, S.C.) becomes the first three-time Soccer Buzz All-Southeast Region in program history after earning third team honors in 2006 and first team honors in 2007. Grimsley (Lakeland, Fla.) is the third Gamecock freshman in as many years to make the All-Freshman Southeast team, following Mattern (2006) and Brittiny Rhoades (2007).
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 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.
Grimsley led the team her rookie season with eight goals and six assists for 22 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 was named Second Team All-SEC and was an SEC All-Freshman Team selection. She twice earned SEC weekly honors this season and brought home four national team of the week honors throughout the season. Her assist in the NCAA Tournament game tied the South Carolina freshman record with six assists on the year.