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Nov. 19, 2010

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By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina senior goalkeeper Mollie Patton has been named an ESPN Academic All-America first team selection, marking the third consecutive year that South Carolina has had a student-athlete selected as a first team member. Patton becomes the eighth Gamecock Academic All-America selection as the honor marks the sixth consecutive season that a member of Coach Shelley Smith’s team has earned the distinction.

South Carolina is one of two Division I schools in the nation to have had a CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America selection each of the past six seasons (2005-10), with Notre Dame being the only other program to earn that achievement. Patton joins Blakely Mattern (2008-09, first team), Erin Sullivan (2007, third team), Annie Galloway (2006, second team), Kimmy Criss (2005, third team), Kanika McAlpine (2002, second team) and Jennie Ondo (1999, second team) as Gamecock women’s soccer selections since the program’s inception.

“I am very proud of Mollie and her accomplishments on and off the field,” Smith said. “She is an outstanding student-athlete and leader among our program. She is one of the best goalkeepers you will find in the college game. She has grown at this level athletically while achieving such success in the classroom among a very difficult major in pharmacy. In addition, she has had to play through some adversity on the field after suffering such a severe concussion early on in her college career. She has been an inspiration to all of us and truly deserves her recognition for all of her accomplishments.”

Patton (Milford, Ohio/Milford HS) holds a 3.800 grade point average at South Carolina while working towards a doctorate in pharmacy. A Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award candidate, Patton was a 2009 NSCAA Scholar All-American, has been an ESPN Academic All-District selection three times and is a three-time SEC Academic Honor roll selection. She finishes her career at South Carolina as one of the best goalkeepers in the history of the Southeastern Conference. She is the SEC’s all-time leader for consecutive shutouts (7) and single-season shutouts (15), and also sits No. 2 in the SEC record books for career goals against average (0.73) and No. 3 for career solo shutouts (31). She leaves the Gamecock program as the all-time leader for each of those categories as well as for single-season (19) and career wins (45).

To be eligible for Academic All-America honors, student-athletes must be a starter or key reserve, maintain at least a 3.3 grade point average and be a sophomore in academic and athletic standing.