Oct. 13, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s soccer team has earned a unanimous No. 5 ranking this week after polls from the National Soccer Coaches Association, Soccer America, and Soccer Times were released Tuesday. In addition, senior defender Blakely Mattern was named to the Soccer America National Team of the Week after leading the Gamecocks to two shutouts and providing two goals against Alabama.
The Gamecocks (13-0-1, 4-01 SEC) remain as one of three teams in the nation without a loss and used the back-to-back SEC shutouts to jump two spots from last week’s position. South Carolina currently boasts the nation’s top-ranked defense with the national lead in shutouts (11), goals against average (0.21) and the NCAA’s second best save percentage (.938). Junior Mollie Patton leads the nation in all three categories with 11 solo shutouts, a 0.14 goals against average and a .956 save percentage.
South Carolina is also ranked No. 23 in total offense (2.36 goals per game), partly due to senior Kim Miller’s eight assists that put her 13th in the NCAA.
Mattern picked up her third national team of the week honor by Soccer America this season after guiding the Gamecock defense to shutout victories against Auburn and Alabama. She spearheaded the defense that allowed only four shots on goal combined over the two games. In addition, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award finalist hit the game-winning goal against Alabama in the 11th minute before adding an insurance goal in the 12th minute.
No. 5 South Carolina hits the road this weekend with two crucial SEC East battles in an effort to remain first in the SEC standings. The Gamecocks will face No. 23 Georgia (11-2-1, 4-2-0 SEC) Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on Tennessee Sunday at 2 p.m.