Click here for a photo gallery from Wednesday’s dedication ceremony
Student athletes, coaches, and members of the Gamecock Club gathered for the dedication ceremony for The Dodie Academic Enrichment Center today. Dodie Anderson, the donor whose generosity made the building possible with a $6 million donation, was also in attendance with her family. The center is the first building in what will become the Athletics Village and will facilitate the academic needs of student athletes.
Athletics Director Eric Hyman started the event by thanking everyone who made The Dodie possible including donors and those in charge of construction and design. University President Dr. Harris Pastides reflected on the outstanding year the university has had so far in the areas of both athletics and academics. Pastides said that The Dodie “will bring together academics and athletics very literally.” The building offers student athletes large study areas, a dining facility, tutor rooms, and computer labs. Several rooms in the building will bear the names of donors who contributed to the project. Pastides said that the facility will serve as “a great recruiting tool.” Football head coach Steve Spurrier mentioned that the Dodie was one of the many reasons Gamecock signee Marcus Lattimore chose South Carolina.
Women’s soccer All-American and SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Blakely Mattern represented the student athletes at the dedication. She was extremely excited about the new building and expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped with the project, especially Dodie Anderson. Mattern said that the building would lend to an even greater student athlete community, something she has cherished during her time as a Gamecock. “I would stay [at South Carolina] forever if they would let me,” said Mattern.
Men’s basketball head coach Darrin Horn said that he knows Dodie Anderson loves to win. “She loves those ‘W’s,’” he said. When Anderson stood to speak, she was welcomed with a standing ovation. She quickly confirmed Horn’s statement by stating that she would “love to see more 34-17’s and 68-62’s.” She spoke of her hopes for the athletic community, and ended her speech with a vibrant “Go Cocks!”
The dedication came to a close with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Hyman and Pastides stood with Anderson as she cut the garnet ribbon. In the eyes of the Gamecock community, the Dodie is a big step for the athletic department and a huge win for the university.
Women’s soccer All-American Blakely Mattern was drafted today by the Atlanta Beat of the Women’s Professional Soccer League with the first pick in the third round. Congrats to Blakely!
Here’s a quick photo taken by South Carolina women’s soccer head coach Shelley Smith of Blakely with the team’s owner:
Here’s a shot of the new stadium the Beat built in Kennesaw, Georgia scheduled to open this season. The team will share the stadium with the Kennesaw State University women’s soccer program.
Women’s soccer senior Blakely Mattern is preparing for the chance to continue her soccer career professionally in the Women’s Professional Soccer league. Click here to read Neil White’s article in The State:
Next week she will be in Philadelphia hoping to hear her name called in the WPS draft, which is taking place in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association convention, where Mattern will be honored at a luncheon as an All-American.
The seven-round draft will see 65 players picked on Jan. 15.
Following a season when she led USC to its first-ever SEC tournament title and NCAA tournament victories, Mattern could not ask for much more.
“It’s a dream come true to continue playing the sport you love,” Mattern said. “The timing couldn’t be more perfect for me. I had one of my best seasons and so did the team. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity. I hope a team gives me a chance. It’s a really exciting time.”
That chance is likely to come. Soccer analysts expect her to be chosen in the draft. ESPN.com has her ranked as the third-best defender of college seniors entering the draft, while The Soccer Magazine and womensprosoccer.com both have her listed as one of the Top 10 defenders nationally.
South Carolina women’s soccer defender Blakely Mattern might need to find more room on her mantle. The senior was named a First-Team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America this week. Here’s a look at the honors she’s picked up in her distinguished career at South Carolina:
- 2009 First Team All-American (NSCAA)
- One of five members on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS All-American First Team (2009)
- 2009 ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-American
- 2009 SEC Tournament MVP
- Three-time First-Team All-SEC
- 2007 SEC Defensive Player of the Year
- 2007 Fourth-Team All-American (Soccer Buzz)
- 2006 Freshman All-American
Weekly Honors from 2009 Season
- NSCAA National Player of the Week
- SEC Defensive Player of the Week (twice)
- Soccer America national team of the week (four times)
- CollegeSoccer360 Primetime Performer team of the week (twice)
- Top Drawer Soccer national team of the week
Impressive, to say the least!
Women’s soccer head coach Shelley Smith was named SEC Coach of the Year and senior defender Blakely Mattern was named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the SEC announced today. It is the first SEC Coach of the Year honor for Smith, who guided South Carolina to school records for conference (seven) and overall (15) victories this season. The Gamecocks recorded a program-best second place finish in the SEC East and came within one game of winning the overall title.
Mattern was tabbed SEC Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Simpsonville, S.C., native owns a 3.985 grade point average in International Business and is a three-time first team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection.
Four Gamecocks received all-conference honors as Mattern and Kayla Grimsley were named First Team All-SEC (both unanimous selections) and Samantha Diaz-Matosas and Kim Miller were Second Team All-SEC.
The Gamecocks face Georgia on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
Our women’s soccer team hits the road this weekend to begin their toughest stretch of the season. The Gamecocks face No. 23 Georgia on Friday night and then travel to Knoxville on Sunday to play the Lady Vols. Here’s some great facts about the team:
- South Carolina is the only team in the nation that has not trailed in a game this season.
- Mollie Patton leads the NCAA in every goalkeeper category with 11 shutouts, a 0.14 goals against average and a .956 save percentage.
- Carolina has a 33-3 goal differential this season, and 14 different players have scored at least one goal for USC.
NCAA.com ran a feature on Patton today – read it here.
Also, don’t forget to keep voting for senior Blakely Mattern for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award. You can vote by clicking here or texting “W6” to 74567.