Oct. 17, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two days after being named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, South Carolina senior center back Kaleigh Kurtz grabbed another accolade Wednesday night when she earned NCAA Soccer Women’s Player of the Week honors. The achievements mark the first two weekly conference awards for Kurtz, who was named to the 2016 SEC Preseason Watch List in August.
Kurtz played all 103 minutes in No. 2 South Carolina’s 1-0 overtime win over No. 17 Florida on Sunday. Through her defensive efforts, the Gamecocks limited the Gators to four shots on goal, including two over the final 57 minutes of the match. Florida entered the contest with the top offense in the league, averaging 2.77 goals per match, and Sunday’s result marked the ninth clean sheet of the year for Carolina.
As an anchor for the Gamecock back line, Kurtz has been on the field for all 732 minutes of SEC play this season. South Carolina has allowed just two goals in league action and boasts shutouts in six of its eight conference matches. The Gamecocks, who rank fifth in Division I in goals against average (0.39), have conceded just one goal in the last 527 minutes.
Kurtz has also contributed on the offensive end, totaling six points on four assists and one goal. Her four assists rank first among defenders and third overall on the team, and she tallied her first multi-assist game in Carolina’s win over UNCG on Sept. 15.
The Gamecocks (14-0-1, 8-0-0 SEC), who sit atop the league standings with three matches to play, return to action Thursday (Oct. 20) on the road against Vanderbilt. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen on SEC Network+, available through WatchESPN.