If there was ever any question about the program Shelley Smith has built, it was put away at the end of the 2011 season when Smith’s South Carolina squad won its second piece of conference hardware in the past three years and advanced to its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Gamecocks won the 2011 SEC regular season and eastern division titles with a 9-2-0 record and moved to the NCAA Second Round for the third consecutive year – one of only two SEC programs to do so in that span.
South Carolina swept the SEC postseason awards with Smith being named SEC Coach of the Year, Kayla Grimsley winning her second consecutive SEC Offensive Player of the Year award and freshman Sabrina D’Angelo being named SEC Freshman of the Year, SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Goalkeeper of the Year – in the process becoming the first player in conference history to earn two player of the year honors in the same season. Grimsley also was named a second team All-American by the NSCAA and Soccer America, while D’Angelo was named a first team All-Freshman selection.
With the winningest senior class in program history now graduated with a 61-24-10 record from 2008-11, South Carolina will rely on its 2012 Signing Class to step in and continue the tradition that is Gamecock Women’s Soccer.