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!
Neil White from The State writes about the varied backgrounds and hometowns of the women’s soccer team in today’s paper.
Following the South Carolina women’s soccer team requires more than a roster. An atlas comes in handy, too.
The goalkeeper hails from Ohio. The leading scorer calls Florida home. The co-captain playing midfield is a New Yorker. The four-time All-SEC defender stayed in state. The Rhoades sisters are from Delaware. In all, the 11 starters have converged in Columbia from nine states, with Georgia, Connecticut, Kentucky and Pennsylvania also in the mix.
South Carolina’s women’s soccer team is back in action tonight at 7 p.m. at Stone Stadium as they host ACC foe Wake Forest in the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks posted consecutive shutouts in the opening two rounds against Davidson and Rutgers. South Carolina also had the highest two-game attendance in the country last weekend.
The Gamecocks are the lone remaining SEC team in the tournament. Wake Forest is one of seven ACC teams left in the field of 16. The winner of tonight’s game will move onto the quarterfinals to face the winner of the North Carolina-Maryland match.
Tickets for tonight’s match are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and students. The first 450 students will receive free admission to the game.
With their run to the SEC title and the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament, the South Carolina women’s soccer team has been making some news: