KANSAS CITY, KS August 6, 2014 – Senior goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo has been named to the prestigious Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) announced today on NSCAATV.com’s “2014 NSCAA College Soccer Review Show”. The association also revealed their preseason top 25, with the Gamecocks checking in at No. 14
The Hermann Trophy is the highest individual award presented to a player in intercollegiate soccer. Of the 35 players on the 2014 Watch List, D’Angelo is one of four who were semifinalists last season. The Gamecock is the first Hermann Trophy semifinalist in the program history.
“I’m thrilled to see Sabrina on the MAC Hermann Watch List,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “I think she is most deserving of this honor and is one of the top goalkeepers in this country. She is a phenomenal player, person and teammate, and this is a great way to start the season.”
“Being listed as a semifinalist last year was humbling, and it’s an honor to be included on the Watch List for such a prestigious award,” D’Angelo said. “Without the team in front of me, I would not be in this position; I give full credit to all 30 of my teammates. Even though it’s my name on the Watch List, it’s a team award.”
The Canadian, who has regularly competed on the international stage as well, had one of the best seasons for a keeper in South Carolina history in 2013, recording 12 shutouts and posting a 0.59 goals against average while anchoring the Southeastern Conference’s top defense. Her 12 shutouts led the conference and ranked seventh nationally.
Last season, she was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in her career, after previously garnering the honor in 2011 when she was also named SEC Freshman of the Year. She was selected to the All-SEC First Team for the second time and earned postseason conference honors for the third consecutive year.
In two games against top-10 competition in 2013, D’Angelo stood her ground against 22 shots to produce eight saves and allow only one goal to help the Gamecocks defeat two top-10 opponents in a season (No. 7 Duke, 1-0; at No. 8 Florida, 2-1 2OT) for the first time in program history.
With 17 wins last year, the Welland, Ontario, native has been in goal for the Gamecocks during two of the three most successful seasons in school history, including the 2011 team’s 16 wins en route to a regular-season conference championship.
The winners will be announced Fri., Jan. 9, 2015, at the trophy presentation banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
In the NSCAA/Continental Tire Preseason Rankings also released on Wednesday, the Gamecocks checked in at No. 14, their highest preseason ranking since beginning the 2010 season at No. 12.
“This shows the respect that teams and coaches across the country have for our program,” Smith said of the ranking. “We know we are deserving of a No. 14 ranking at this point and hope to prove that we belong in the top 25 throughout the season.”
The Gamecocks face three opponents in the 2014 preseason top 25, beginning with an exhibition at No. 18 Duke on Thurs., Aug. 14. Two other Southeastern Conference schools earned spots in the rankings with Florida at No. 8 and Texas A&M at No. 9. South Carolina faces them both this fall, welcoming Florida to Stone Stadium on Thurs., Oct. 16, in a match-up slated for the SEC Network and traveling to Texas A&M on Sun., Oct. 26.
“We are happy to be one of three teams along with Florida and Texas A&M to represent the SEC in the rankings,” Smith added. “With the level of competition in our conference, I believe there will be more SEC teams deserving of a spot in the top 25 as the season unfolds.”
South Carolina returns eight starters from one of the most successful campaigns in program history. In 2013, Smith’s squad finished the season with a No. 15 NSCAA final ranking, after a 17-4-2 record and the only undefeated home record in school history (11-0-0). The team also recorded their sixth NCAA appearance in the last seven years.
Regular season rankings will begin the last week of August, coordinating with the start of the NCAA Division I women’s competition
The Gamecocks began practice on Wednesday to prep for the exhibition match at Duke on Thurs., Aug. 14. After opening the regular season on the road at East Carolina on Fri., Aug. 22, South Carolina kicks off its home slate against Samford on Sun., Aug. 24.
Season tickets are on sale now, with soccer fans getting the best deal ever offered for tickets. For $25 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under, purchasers receive a season ticket to every men’s and women’s soccer match this season, 22 in all, for an average price of under $1.50 per contest. In addition, season-ticket buyers will get an exclusive Gamecock Soccer scarf. To take advantage of the offer, call 1-800-4SC-FANS (1-800-472-3267) or go to GamecocksOnline.com/tickets to purchase yours today.