April 17, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s soccer shined at the 2017 Gamecock Gala, taking home three major awards at the annual event Monday night at Colonial Life Arena.
Senior midfielder Chelsea Drennan, who garnered three accolades, capped off a successful four-year career at Carolina with the 2017 President’s Award, the night’s most prestigious honor. The award recognizes an individual who displays extraordinary talents in the areas of athletics, scholarship, leadership and service. Former Gamecock goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo (2011-14) was awarded the President’s Award in 2015.
“I have been honored to work with quality student-athletes and people, and once again I am proud to say we have a representative of the program earning the highest honor awarded in South Carolina athletics,” South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith said. “Chelsea has been a role model since she stepped foot on campus, and it has been a pleasure watching her grow into the leader she has become.”
Earlier in the night, Drennan was tabbed the 2017 SEC Female McWhorter Scholar and recognized on stage by Dr. Valinda Littlefield, Carolina’s faculty athletics representative. The Anderson, S.C., native and senior swimmer Jonathan Boland will both receive a $7,500 post-graduate scholarship from the league after being named the Gamecocks’ nominees for the award.
Drennan, who captained Carolina this past fall, also earned Team MVP honors Monday after helping lead the Gamecocks to a historic season this past fall. Smith presented the senior with the award on stage.
An anchor in the Gamecock midfield while at Carolina, Drennan appeared in every match throughout the four-year stretch. She ended her collegiate career as the program’s all-time assists leader with 40, and the senior standout earned NSCAA Second Team All-America honors this past fall. Drennan, who ranks fourth all-time in school history with 66 career points, was tabbed a 2016 NSCAA First-Team Scholar All-American and placed on the SEC Academic Honor Roll for the fourth-straight year. She has also set an example off the field, volunteering for organizations such as Meals on Wheels and Harvest Hope Food Bank.
Carolina rising sophomore Mikayla Krzeczowski marked the second women’s soccer player honored Monday, as the goalkeeper shared the Female New Student-Athlete of the Year Award with women’s basketball’s Tyasha Harris.
Krzeczowski enjoyed a historic first season in net for the Gamecocks this past fall after appearing in 21 of the team’s 24 matches. She paced the SEC with a program single-season record 0.43 goals against average in 2016, and her 11 shutouts, the most ever by a Gamecock freshman, also led the league and were the third-most in one year in school history. Krzeczowski allowed just three goals in SEC play last fall and notched clean sheets in Carolina’s NCAA Tournament victories over No. 20 Colorado and fourth-ranked BYU.
Carolina turned in the finest season in program history this past fall, boasting single-season school records for wins (21) and victories over ranked opponenets (5). The Gamecocks posted a perfect 11-0 mark in league play en route to the 2016 SEC Regular-Season Title, and they earned the program’s furst NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed after becoming the first team in conference history to end the regular season unbeaten (17-0-1). Carolina, which sported the top winning percentage (.896) in Division I in 2016, reached the NCAA Elite Eight for the second time in three years.