Dec. 15, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gamecock women’s soccer seniors Chelsea Drennan and Kaleigh Kurtz have been named NSCAA First-Team Scholar All-Americans, the coaching organization announced Thursday afternoon. South Carolina and Florida marked the only two schools to boast two first-team selections for the academic honor.
Drennan and Kurtz were also placed on the NSCAA Scholar All-South Region First Team. Center back Paige Bendell rounded out the group of Gamecocks to be recognized Thursday, as the senior earned a spot on the NSCAA Scholar All-South Region Second Team.
Drennan, a 2016 NSCAA Second Team All-American, sports a 3.78 GPA as a pharmacy major. The three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection will earn her undergraduate degree in pharmacy this spring before completing graduate school in 2019. Drennan recently wrapped up one of the most productive four-year individual stretches at Carolina, ending her career as the program’s all-time leader in assists (40).
Kurtz will graduate in the spring with a degree in exercise science. The center back, who holds a 3.69 GPA, has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in each of the last two seasons. She also garnered All-America honors this season, grabbing a spot on the First Team. Kurtz sported career highs in points (7) and assists (5) in 2016 and helped the Gamecocks rank seventh in Division I in goals against average (0.41).
Bendell earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting this fall after graduating on Monday. The Orland Park, Ill., native boasts a GPA of 3.97, and she has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll every year since 2013. Bendell led all Carolina defenders with three goals this season and anchored the back line alongside Kurtz for a Gamecock team that topped the SEC with 14 shutouts.
Drennan and Kurtz become the fifth and sixth players in program history to collect NSCAA Scholar All-America laurels, and the pair joins Blakely Mattern (2006-09) and Sabrina D’Angelo (2011-14) as the only other Carolina players to be named to the First Team. The Gamecocks now sport 13 NSCAA Scholar All-Region honorees, including seven first-team selections.