Dec. 2, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A program-record three Gamecock women’s soccer players earned NSCAA All-America honors, the coaching organization announced Friday afternoon. Junior striker Savannah McCaskill and senior center back Kaleigh Kurtz were tabbed First-Team All-Americans, while senior midfielder Chelsea Drennan grabbed a spot on the Second Team.
Both Carolina’s two first-team selections and its three overall honorees matched the most among NCAA Division I schools. This season marks the fourth-straight year the Gamecocks have boasted an All-American, and McCaskill and Kurtz become the second and third players to earn First-Team All-America accolades.
McCaskill turned in a historic season for the Gamecocks after setting program single-season records for points (45) and goals (17). Her 10 game-winners were also a program best, and the SEC Offensive Player of the Year notched five multi-goal games in 2016. McCaskill tied for the team lead with a career-best 11 assists, and her 1.88 points per match ranked first among league players.
Kurtz, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, made her presence felt on both ends of the field in her final season at Carolina. She topped all Gamecock defenders with a career-best five assists, and her seven points tied for fifth. The Greer, S.C., native anchored the back line for the Gamecocks, who led the SEC with a program-best 0.41 goals against average. Carolina tallied 14 shutouts and allowed just one goal in four NCAA Tournament matches.
Drennan, Carolina’s team captain this fall, sported career highs in points (27) and goals (8). She ranked third among Gamecocks with three game-winners and totaled the team high in assists for the fourth-straight year. The Anderson, S.C., native finished her collegiate career with the program’s all-time assists record (40), and her 66 career points are good for the fourth-best mark in school history.
The Gamecocks now sport six All-Americans all-time, as Drennan and Kurtz join defender Blakely Mattern, forward Kayla Grimsley, goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo and McCaskill, who was selected to the 2015 NSCAA All-America Third Team. McCaskill, Grimsley and D’Angelo are the only players in school history to garner multiple All-America laurels.
Carolina, which set a single-season program record for wins (21), was the only Division I school to finish the regular season undefeated (17-0-1). The Gamecocks captured the SEC Regular-Season Title and earned the school’s first NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed before reaching the Elite Eight for the second time in three years.