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Nov. 2, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Junior forward Kayla Grimsley was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year and four Gamecocks earned All-SEC honors to cap the most successful SEC season in program history, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon. Grimsley and Brittiny Rhoades were first team selections, Ellen Fahey was a second team pick and Danielle Au was picked for the All-Freshman team.

Grimsley’s selection is the first SEC Offensive Player of the Year honor in South Carolina history and just the third overall Player of the Year selection behind Blakely Mattern (2009, Defensive Player of the Year) and Ashley Kirk (2004, Freshman of the Year). Grimsley led the SEC in goals (11), points (31) and game-winning goals (5) while coming in third in assists (9). She is the first Gamecock to finish the regular season as the SEC’s leader in the three offensive categories. Grimsley is a MAC Hermann Trophy Award candidate as well as an All-American candidate as the league’s top striker. Earlier this season she became just the third Gamecock to be named the National Player of the Week.

Senior defender Brittiny Rhoades joins Grimsley as a selection to the First Team All-SEC list. Rhoades served as team captain and leader of a defense that led the conference in every major defensive category, including shutouts (10), shutout percentage (.500), goal allowed (12), goals against average (0.58) and points allowed (32). The Gamecock backline limited 11 of 12 SEC opponents to four shots on goal or less and finished the regular season ranked No. 13 in the nation in defense. One of the nation’s premier left backs, Rhoades also had one goal and three assists for five points. She twice was named to the National Team of the Week for her exploits throughout the season.

Junior defender Ellen Fahey was selected to the Second Team All-SEC list after another solid year in the center back position. Fahey’s presence in the center of the backline helped South Carolina possess an SEC-best 76 shots on goal allowed, a mark that ranks No. 20 in the NCAA. Fahey earned two goals for four points.

Freshman midfielder Danielle Au earned a selection to the SEC All-Freshman team after a campaign that saw her score four goals and two assists for 10 points. Au started all 20 games for the Gamecocks as an attacking midfielder and this season set her mark as being just the second Gamecock freshman to both score a golden goal and to hit the game-winning goal against a ranked opponent.

South Carolina will take on Kentucky in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals next Wednesday at 12 noon CT. The Gamecocks defeated the Kentucky by a 5-1 score in the regular season matchup.