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April 4, 2017

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s soccer held its annual Fan Appreciation Clinic Tuesday night, hosting over 400 girls ages 5-12 at Stone Stadium. The event, now in its ninth year, gives local youth players the chance to share the field with the Gamecocks while taking part in a variety of soccer drills.

Tuesday’s festivities began with a free dinner provided by a variety of local restaurants before the clinic kicked off at 6 p.m. The Carolina players and coaches worked with the kids at different stations, where the participants practiced dribbling, juggling and passing.

The youth soccer players were then treated to a small-sided scrimmage between the Gamecocks. The night ended with a raffle and an autograph session, as the Carolina players and coaches signed schedule cards for the girls.

“Tonight is a chance to thank the fans, and we appreciate all the support from Gamecock nation,” women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith said. “We love for the girls to come out and meet with and work with our players. It’s good to get them interested in the sport, and our players are wonderful role models.”

The Gamecocks created the Fan Appreciation Clinic as a thank you for all the fan support year-in-and-year-out. Carolina has ranked in the top-10 nationally in average home attendance the last four years, and the Gamecocks topped all Division I schools in 2016 with a mark of 3,173 fans per home match during the regular season.

Carolina closes its spring season this weekend with a pair of matches Saturday against Wake Forest and NC State. Follow the team on Twitter (@GamecockWSoccer) for more information on the Gamecocks throughout the spring and summer.