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Dec. 3, 2010

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By Miquel Jacobs
Media Relations Assistant

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina forward Kayla Grimsley capped her record-setting junior season by being named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Performance Subaru Women’s Soccer All-American, as voted on by soccer coaches across the country. In addition, senior defender Brittiny Rhoades was selected to the NSCAA All-South Region team, along with Grimsley.

Grimsley is one of 49 players named to the All-America team and one of only four SEC players to make the list. Selected as a fourth team pick, Grimsley becomes just the second Gamecock to earn NSCAA All-America honors, and South Carolina is one of two SEC teams to have a player named an NSCAA All-American each of the last two seasons. In 2009, defender Blakely Mattern was a first team selection as the first Gamecock to earn All-America honors by the coaches association.

“I’m honored to get that recognition,” Grimsley said. “Like I’ve said all season, individual awards in a team sport don’t really reflect on me; it reflects on everyone else around me. I’m grateful for my teammates and the support I’ve had this season. That’s a huge award and I’m at a loss of words right about it.”

Grimsley’s selection comes after putting together one of the finest individual seasons in Gamecock history that saw her rewarded by being named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Grimsley led the league in goals, points and game-winning goals with a stat line of 12 goals, 10 assists and 34 points. She tied the South Carolina single-season record for points and also set the junior class records for goals, assists, points and game-winning goals. Grimsley’s year saw her earn First Team All-SEC honors, TopDrawerSoccer Team of the Season (second team) honors, First Team NSCAA All-Region honors, SEC All-Tournament team honors and she was also named the National Player of the Week earlier in the season.

Rhoades was a Second Team All-South Region selection, her first career NSCAA honor. The selection comes two weeks after she was named a first team TopDrawerSoccer Team of the Season selection, an honor that made her the first Gamecock in program history to be selected by the organization as one of the top 11 players in the nation. She was a First Team All-SEC and SEC All-Tournament Team selection as the leader of one of the top ranked defenses in the country. The Gamecock squad had a streak of 11 consecutive games in limiting opponents to four shots on goal or less, and finished the regular season as the SEC’s leader in every major defensive category including goals against average, shutouts, shots allowed and points allowed. On the offensive end, Rhoades scored her first career goal against LSU and finished the year with one goal and three assists for five points. She ends her career No. 3 in the SEC record books for career matches played at 95.

“They are deserving,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “I’m happy for both of them to be recognized at this level. They had a tremendous year on the field, and I’m especially happy for Brittiny Rhoades who has been such a solid player for four years for us. She’s been deserving, and I’m happy that in her senior year she has the recognition she deserves and could have had earlier if not for the strong defenders we have had playing alongside her in the past. For Kayla, it’s outstanding as a junior to get that much respect nationally and in showing why she’s was the conference offensive player of the year. We’re thrilled to have an All-American returning to us for her senior year, which I know she’ll be even better next year in her final season.”