Nov. 9, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Five South Carolina men's soccer players garnered All-Conference USA honors on Tuesday, highlighted by senior forward Blake Brettschnider being selected as the Co-MVP and Co-Offensive Player of the Year. The awards were announced the day before the Conference USA Tournament begins in Memphis at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
Brettschneider was also selected to the first team all-conference squad, where classmate Will Traynor, who was named one of the top defenders in the league, joined him. Senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was selected to the second team, freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez was selected to the third team and the All-Freshman squad, and freshman midfielder Chipper Root also earned a spot on the All-Freshman team. The five selections for Carolina are the most since the 2008 campaign, while the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards collected by Brettschneider are South Carolina's first in six years competing in the league.
Brettschneider finished the regular season with five goals and a team-best eight assists for 18 points. The Lilburn, Ga., native also paces the team in shots (44) and shots on goal (22), while he has two game-winning goals on the year, including the game winner versus archrival Clemson. Brettschneider has factored in 13 of South Carolina's 20 goals this season, while in league play, he posted three goals and eight assists, collecting at least one point in every game he played. Brettschneider was also selected to the 2007 C-USA All-Freshman Team, 2008 First Team All-C-USA and 2009 Third Team All-C-USA.
Traynor's selection is the first of his career. A mainstay in the starting lineup throughout his Gamecock career, Traynor has enjoyed a banner year in 2010. The St. Charles, Mo., native has scored five goals, including three in C-USA action, while he has also contributed one assist. His first-career game winner came in a crucial victory in C-USA play at then-No. 5 Tulsa in early October. Traynor's 15 shots lead all Gamecock defenders, while his play on the defensive line has helped the team secure seven shutouts in contests he has played.
Maurer's selection to the second team is the fourth All-C-USA honor of his career. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native has played all but 17 minutes in goal this season for the Gamecocks, entering tournament play with a 1.16 goals against average. His seven shutouts thus far in 2010 give him 26 for his career, which ranks second in South Carolina history in the category. Maurer also made his mark on the offensive end in 2010, collecting the first two assists of his career, both in league play. He also collected the 2007 C-USA Freshman of the Year award, and was named to the 2007 C-USA All-Freshman Team, the 2007 and 2008 Second Team All-C-USA squads and Third Team All-C-USA in 2009.
Baladez marks South Carolina's seventh selection to the All-Freshman team, while also earning third-team honors. The Mesquite, Texas, native has started every game of his freshman campaign, scoring five goals on the year, including a team-best four game winners. He has contributed 44 shots, including 16 on goal this season, while his 26 shots in C-USA action marked a team-best.
Root is Carolina's eighth selection to the All-Freshman team. The Chapel Hill, N.C., native has started every game of his freshman campaign, contributing 40 shots, including 13 on goal. Root finished the regular season strong, earning an assist on the game winner over FIU, while collecting his first-career goal in South Carolina's 3-0 win over Memphis.
Fourth-seeded South Carolina will play No. 5 UAB in the first match of the 2010 Conference USA Tournament on Wednesday. Game time is set for 6 p.m. ET. Live stats will be available via GamecocksOnline.com.
2010 C-USA MEN'S SOCCER AWARDS
Co-Offensive Players of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Freshman of the Year
Coach of the Year
All-Conference First Team
All-Conference Second Team
All-Conference Third Team
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