Oct. 21, 2009
|#10 South Carolina vs. Arkansas | Thursday, 7 p.m.
|| Live Video Broadcast | Game Notes
|CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR BLAKELY
LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 10 South Carolina returns to Stone Stadium for the 2009 home finale when the team hosts Arkansas at Stone Stadium. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. as the Gamecocks look to remain at the top of the SEC Standings with three regular season games remaining.
South Carolina (14-1-1, 6-1-1 SEC) won the last two meetings against the Razorbacks (8-4-4, 2-4-2 SEC) and leads the all-time series with a 6-3-1 advantage. The Gamecocks are one of six teams that have already secured a spot for the SEC Tournament, and Arkansas will look to hold on as the team currently the last team slotted for the tournament with their eighth place position.
The Gamecocks will next travel to Baton Rouge, La., to take on #17 LSU in a 3 p.m. Sunday match that will be nationally televised by ESPNU. South Carolina and LSU have identical 6-1-1 records in conference play and are tied for first in the SEC Standings. The Tigers play at #12 Florida Thursday.
Arkansas is currently eighth in the SEC under first year coach Erin Aubry. The team is led by junior goalkeeper Britni Williams who has a 0.55 goals against average to go along with 80 saves and nine shutouts, numbers that all rank in the top three in the SEC. Offensively, freshman Allie Chandler leads the team with five goals and two assists for 12 points, and junior Ally Atkins is right behind with three goals and four assists for 10 points.
IN THE POLLS
For the fourth consecutive week, South Carolina has earned a top 10 ranking from all three major publications as Coach Shelley Smith’s team comes in at No. 10 by the NSCAA and Soccer America in addition to a No. 9 ranking by Soccer Times. The Gamecocks also come in at No. 12 in the second NCAA RPI report released this week.
THE BEST SEASON EVER?
With a 14-1-1 record and 6-1-1 SEC record, the Gamecocks have already matched program bests for overall and conference wins in a season with at least four games remaining in 2009. Currently tied for first in the overall SEC standings with LSU, the Gamecocks are in search of the first overall and first East Division titles in program history.
LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST Blakely Mattern NEEDS VOTES!
Senior defender Blakely Mattern has been named a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, presented annually in eight NCAA Division 1 Sports to a senior student-athlete who excels both on and off the field. Candidates are chosen based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. Fan voting will help decide the winner. Visit “www.seniorclassaward.com” or text “W6” to 74567 to vote for Mattern.
SENIOR CLASS SET THE BAR HIGH
The 2009 senior class will leave Columbia as the winningest senior class in program history. Entering weekend play, the group of seniors hold a 50-20-13 (.681) record, the most wins and best win-percentage for a South Carolina senior class. The group of seven has led Carolina to three consecutive SEC tournament appearances and two consecutive NCAA appearances.
South Carolina is currently second in the nation with 11 shutouts on the year and have allowed only six goals through the first 16 games of the season. Junior goalkeeper Mollie Patton has held the national lead in all three goalkeeping categories for the majority of the season. This week she clocks in tied for the national lead with 11 solo shutouts, ranks third nationally with a 0.31 goals against average and is fifth nationally with a .911 save percentage.
GRABBING THE SCHOOL RECORD
Senior defender Blakely Mattern has started every game of her career, and with 83 career starts is officially the school’s all-time leader after surpassing Ashley Kirk’s record of 81 starts in last Friday’s match at Georgia. She, along with Samantha Diaz-Matosas and Kim Miller, will surpass the games played record of 83 in Thursday match against Arkansas.
AT THE TOP OF THE NCAA LISTS
Noted as one of the top defensive teams in the country under Shelley Smith, South Carolina has continued that excellence this season and added a little offensive flair as well. The Gamecocks have the NCAA’s third-ranked defense with a 0.368 goals against average and 11 shutouts. The team is also No. 26 in scoring offense (2.25 goals/game). With that type of production, South Carolina is also at the top of the SEC lists in half of the statistical categories. The team leads the conference in goals allowed, goals against average, shutouts, shots allowed, shots on goal allowed, points allowed, assists and shot on goal percentage.
South Carolina’s incredible run this season may have been foreshadowed by the preseason ending 2-0 shutout win of the Mexican National Team. Since that match, the Mexican team went 4-0 in its collegiate tour and outscored opponents 14-2 with wins at Kennesaw State (5-0), previously ranked TCU (4-1), #14 Southern California (2-0) and Cal State Fullerton (3-1).
PATTON GETS THE RECORD(S)
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Mollie Patton set a new South Carolina single-season shutout record when she grabbed her eighth shutout of the year in the win against Kentucky. She then set the career record in the next game at Ole Miss with her 16th shutout in 33 career games, surpassing the previous mark of 15 set by Laura Armstrong and Elise Matthews.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Goals have been spread around the entire Gamecock team so far with a different player hitting the game-winning goal in eight of Carolina’s 14 wins. Fourteen different players have scored a goal this season, and only half of those players have scored multiple goals this season: Kayla Grimsley, Kim Miller, Blakely Mattern, Samantha Diaz-Matosas, Lindsay Small, Brooke Jacobs and Christine Watts.