Gamecock Women's Soccer Ranked No. 21 In Coaches Preseason Poll
Aug. 10, 2011
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By Miquel Jacobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina head women's soccer coach Shelley Smith's squad will open the 2011 season as the nation's No. 21 team, according to the preseason coaches poll released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Gamecocks have been ranked a program-best 26 consecutive weeks dating back to the second week of the 2009 season (Sept. 7, 2009).
Notre Dame tops the poll as the defending champions, followed by runner-up Stanford, North Carolina, Boston College and Florida State. Four of South Carolina's opponents for the upcoming season also received recognition. The Gamecocks will travel to No. 9 Florida in the regular season finale at James G. Pressly Stadium, and South Carolina will host No. 18 Wake Forest at Stone Stadium in a Sunday, Sept. 18 matinee.
Coach Smith's team will also face two teams that are receiving votes in the preseason poll - Georgia (Sept. 25 at Athens) and Duke (Aug. 21 at Durham).
The Gamecocks finished the 2010 campaign with a 15-6-4 record, earning the program's fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and finishing as SEC regular season and tournament runner-up. Smith guided South Carolina to a school record eight conference victories with an 8-2-1 record and is now second among active SEC coaches for overall and conference wins since the 2007 season. The Gamecocks finished the year with the nation's 17th-ranked defense with 10 shutouts and a 0.548 goals against average. The team returns All-SEC selections Ellen Fahey and Danielle Au in addition to NSCAA All-American and South Carolina single-season points record holder Kayla Grimsley.
South Carolina opens the 2011 season on Aug. 19 when the team travels to its neighboring state to take on East Carolina in the season opener before playing Duke on Aug. 21. Fans can get their first look at the 2011 team and get signed posters at the Fan Appreciation Day scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 14 at 12:30 p.m. Season Tickets for the 2011 season are currently on sale. Ticket prices are $25 for adults and $10 for youth. Click here for info.