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Oct. 6, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – One week after earning the highest ranking in program history, the South Carolina women’s soccer team climbed another spot this week as Coach Shelley Smith’s team moves to No. 7 in the latest NSCAA coaches poll, the organization released Tuesday.

The Gamecocks (11-0-1) are one of three teams in the nation without a loss and used a strong weekend on the road to improve one spot in the coaches poll. South Carolina holds steady at No. 7 by Soccer Times and is ranked No. 8 by Soccer America magazine for a unanimous top 10 ranking for the second consecutive week.

In addition, the first Ratings Percentage Index reports of the women’s soccer season were released and have the Gamecocks slotted at No. 6. The RPI is the primary ratings system used by the NCAA to determine which teams will receive at-large bids to compete in the NCAA Tournament. South Carolina already boasts a victory over RPI No. 5 UCF this season.

The Gamecocks currently boast the nation’s third-ranked defense (0.245 goals against average) and 22nd-ranked offense (2.50 goals per game). Redshirt junior Mollie Patton holds the NCAA lead with nine solo shutouts and is first in the NCAA with a 0.168 goals against average.

No. 7 South Carolina (11-0-1, 3-0-1 SEC) returns home this weekend to take on the Auburn Tigers on Senior Day Friday at 7 p.m. The team will then host Alabama at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the tail-end of a double-header.

Note: The South Carolina women’s soccer team is featured today as the main story on the front page. The story was written by columnist Graham Hays.