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Sept. 22, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – With a perfect 8-0-0 record that includes seven shutouts, the South Carolina women’s soccer team peaks at No. 11 in this week’s national polls.

The No. 11 ranking comes from Soccer America after the Gamecocks knocked off then-No. 17 UCF 1-0 and defeated South Alabama 6-1 last week. Carolina also comes in at No. 12 in the NSCAA coaches poll and No. 13 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 8-0-0 on the year and opened the season with seven consecutive shutouts. The Gamecocks currently boast the nation’s second-ranked defense (0.125 goals against average) and 15th-ranked offense (3.13 goals per game). Redshirt junior Mollie Patton leads the NCAA with seven shutouts and is one of two starting keepers in the nation that has not been scored on this season.

No. 11 South Carolina (8-0-0) returns to action this weekend when the team hosts Vanderbilt (6-1-1) Friday night in the SEC opener for both teams. The match will be televised live on Fox Sports South with a starting time of 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium.