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May 3, 2010

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – During their 2009 SEC Championship season, members of the Gamecock women’s soccer team found time to mentor a group of Fort Jackson youth soccer players. The team traveled to the base on October 2nd to hold a clinic and sign autographs for over 50 post children. Former captain and 2007 graduate Ashley Kirk and senior Samantha Diaz-Matosas could relate to the group, as Kirk’s father is a 27-year Army Veteran and Diaz-Matosas’ fiancé completed his basic training at Fort Jackson and is now stationed in Korea. At the end of the clinic Kirk and Diaz-Matosas spoke of their experiences of having a loved one in the military.

The following Friday, over 100 Fort Jackson youth and their families came to Stone Stadium to cheer on the Gamecocks in their 1-0 overtime victory against Auburn. The kids continued to follow the team during the historic season, and several were present throughout the NCAA postseason matches that South Carolina hosted.

For their efforts, the team was recently presented the Helping Hands Award celebrating the volunteers involved with Fort Jackson. Kim Miller, Kacie Brewer, and Diaz-Matosas accepted the award from Brigadier General Bradley May, Fort Jackson’s Commanding General.

Current team members that participated in the clinic were Maggie Blackwell, Kira Campbell, Samantha Diaz-Matosas, Megan Fligg, Kayla Grimsley, Dani Henry, Kim Miller, Brittiny Rhoades, Kortney Rhoades, Lindsay Small and Darien Vercillo.