Blakely Mattern Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week
Aug. 31, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina senior Blakely Mattern has been named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Gamecock defense to a dominating effort in its season-opening victories.
Mattern acted as team leader at center back for a defense that allowed only two shots - one on goal - in 180 minutes of soccer with shutout wins against College of Charleston and Western Carolina. In charge of the backline, Mattern led the Gamecocks into holding the Cougars without a shot until the 65th minute of the match. In Sunday's game against Western Carolina, the Gamecock defense held the Catamounts without a shot for the entire 90-minute contest, the fourth time in program history that an opponent was held without a shot for an entire game. All four instances came under current head coach Shelley Smith, and Mattern started at center back in three of those games.
"It's a credit to not only Blakely but to our entire team for shutting out two opponents," South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. "Holding a team to no shots in a game is a great achievement. Blakely is a leader among the defense, but she'll be the first one to tell you it takes a team to do that. I'm glad she and the team were recognized for their tremendous defensive efforts over the opening games."
South Carolina returns to action this weekend when the team travels to Louisville, Ky., to compete in the Cardinal Classic. The Gamecocks will take on the host Louisville Cardinals Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on Cincinnati Sunday at 11 a.m.