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Oct. 28, 2013

IRVING, Texas – After posting a clean sheet against No. 25 New Mexico, South Carolina freshman goalkeeper Marco Velez was named Conference-USA Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.

Velez earned his third shutout of the year in a win over No. 25 New Mexico on Saturday night at Stone Stadium. Playing the entire match between the posts for the Gamecocks, Velez hauled in three saves to post his fourth win of the season. The freshman helped anchor the South Carolina defense that allowed just three of the Lobos’ 14 shots to go on frame. The win improved the Gamecocks to 3-1-2 in league play and handed the Lobos their first league defeat as a member of C-USA.

With the victory, Gamecock head coach Mark Berson became just the fourth in Division I history to win 450 matches at one institution. During the 2011 season, he collected his 450th career victory, becoming the eighth Division I coach all-time to reach the 450-win milestone.

This marks the first career Defensive Player of the Week award for Velez and the first recognition of the season for a Gamecock.