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Sept. 15, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – With six consecutive shutout victories to open the season and an 18-0 scoring differential, South Carolina has jumped in the national polls and peaks at No. 12 in the Soccer America poll.

The Gamecocks also come in at No. 13 in the NSCAA coaches poll and No. 15 by Soccer Times. The rankings are the highest South Carolina has been ranked since the week of Sept. 17, 2007 when the team came in at No. 7 by Soccer America and No. 10 by the NSCAA.

Under head coach Shelley Smith, the Gamecocks are 6-0-0 on the year and are one of three teams in the nation with six consecutive shutouts to open the season. South Carolina won the Carolina’s Cup tournament title with a 5-0 win at rival Clemson and 2-0 win against UNC Wilmington. Senior defender Blakely Mattern was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week in addition to being selected to the Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer National Teams of the Week.

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.