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Sept. 14, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina senior Blakely Mattern’s strong weekend at the Carolina’s Cup was enough to earn her Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time this season. She also earned the honor two weeks ago after South Carolina’s season-opening shutout victories.

Mattern had the strongest weekend of her career in scoring three goals for six points and leading the Carolina defense to another two shutouts to win the Carolina’s Cup. Mattern scored two goals in South Carolina’s 5-0 win at rival Clemson to lead the Gamecocks to their first win in program history at Riggs Field – a rivalry that spans back to the 1995 season. Mattern then hit the game-winning goal in the 56th minute against UNC Wilmington to lead the Gamecocks to their sixth straight shutout to open the season.

A Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award candidate, Mattern now has four goals on the year and is tied for the second in the SEC with two game-winning goals out of her center back position. She was named the Carolina’s Cup Tournament MVP after leading the Gamecocks out of her center back position to two shutouts, giving the Gamecocks six consecutive to start the year.

No. 12 South Carolina (6-0-0) returns to action this weekend when the team hosts No. 17 UCF (5-1-1) at Stone Stadium Friday night. The match scheduled for 7 p.m. will mark the first time that a ranked South Carolina women’s soccer team will face a ranked opponent at Stone Stadium.