Oct. 27, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Six South Carolina student-athletes from the nationally ranked Gamecock soccer programs were named to the CoSIDA Academic District 4 Teams, the organization announced today. Goalkeeper William Pyle, defender Ive Burnett, midfielder Danny Deakin and midfielder Kurtis Turner made the men’s team, while defender Paige Bendell and midfielder Chelsea Drennan were selected to the women’s team.
Burnett and Drennan are both repeat honorees from last season, making their second appearances on the team. Burnett, a native of Brandon, Miss., anchors the back line for Carolina and has been a staple in the Gamecocks’ lineup for four seasons. Drennan, South Carolina’s all-time assists leader, guided the No. 2 Gamecocks to the 2016 SEC Regular-Season Title after being tabbed the team captain earlier this fall. The Anderson, S.C., native boasts career highs in points (20) and goals (6) in 2016, and she netted the overtime game-winner against No. 17 Florida on Oct. 16.
Pyle, Deakin and Turner are all first time honorees for the men. Pyle is 9-3-1 in the net this season with 44 saves and four shutouts. Deakin, a team captain, leads the team in points (19), goals (7) and assists (5) this year. He has five game-winning goals, which ranks fifth in the nation. Turner, who is also a team captain and quarterbacks the field for South Carolina, has tallied four points this season (1G, 2A). He scored the game-winning goal in the team’s 3-0 win at No. 18 Furman on Sept. 20.
Bendell has been an anchor on the Gamecock back line over the last two seasons, helping Carolina tally 18 shutouts since 2015. She has started all 17 matches this year for the Gamecocks, who rank first in the SEC and fifth nationally in goals against average (0.40). On the offensive end, Bendell has contributed three goals in her senior season.
For the Gamecock men, it’s the fourth-consecutive year with multiple honorees. Burnett is the eighth Gamecock men’s soccer student to gain the honor at least twice. The men’s program is tied with six other schools for the most nominees with four. For the women, Drennan and Bendell become the 17th and 18th players in program history to be honored with the distinction. The women have now received 26 certificates since 1996, the first year of the program.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore both academically and athletically and have a 3.30 cumulative grade point average. All the district winners move onto the national ballot, with the results of that vote set to be announced in November.
Women’s soccer rounds its regular season out tonight at Stone Stadium vs. Ole Miss, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. The team will be honoring its senior class prior to the match. Men’s soccer heads west to face New Mexico Sunday night in the team’s final regular-season road match. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET in Albuquerque.