« Women’s Soccer 2009

Blakely Mattern

School

University of South Carolina

Position
Defender
Major
International Business
G
7
A
1
PTS
15

Classroom

Mattern will graduate in May 2010 with a double-major in international business and global supply chain and operations management. The South Carolina International Business program has been ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top two in the country the past six years. Mattern holds a 3.986 GPA entering her senior season with a transcript that includes only one B in all of her collegiate classes. She was named a CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine first team Academic All-American in 2008 and is a three-time SEC All-Academic Team selection. Mattern also has earned NSCAA All-Scholar Region team honors. She aspires to earn her master’s degree as a graduate assistant coach after graduating with a desire to remain in the athletics field in some capacity as a career.

Character

As a two-year team captain, Mattern has stated that “knowing that you have girls counting on you is a great responsibility to have, and there is nothing like working for each other and seeing the growth that can come from pushing each other to be the best.” Mattern’s road to where she is as a senior women’s soccer player hasn’t always been easy. In the summer of 2008, Mattern was diagnosed with a chronic disease called alopecia, an anti-immune disease where she lost most of her hair. However, she states that she learned “to be a better leader and to be mentally stronger in addition to showing how much of a blessing it is just to be able to run and play soccer everyday.” On the pitch, Mattern has also been one to shy away from individual attention, instead deflecting the successes and accolades that she earns onto her teammates.

Community

Along with her team, Mattern has worked a lot in the community of Columbia doing Habitat for Humanity as well as other housing project works, such as fixing and painting houses. She also volunteers each year at the Special Olympics that are held annually in Columbia. In summer 2009, Mattern began getting involved with missions work in Charlotte, N.C., where she visited and volunteered at Louise’s Lodge, a housing center for pregnant teenagers who have been thrown out by their parents. She also volunteered at Levine Children’s Hospital to visit and play with patients suffering from cancer and other terminal illnesses. Always interested in progressing the sport of women’s soccer, Mattern has volunteered at every South Carolina women’s soccer camp since arriving on campus as a freshman, and she routinely volunteers at soccer clinics held throughout the state of South Carolina.

Competition

With one season remaining, Mattern already is considered one of the top players to wear a Gamecock jersey as she is the first All-America selection in program history. In 2007, Mattern became the first sophomore in the history of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to earn the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award, voted on by the league coaches. She was also invited to the U.S. U-20 National Team camp in 2008. In three seasons, she has earned three All-SEC bids, including two first-team nods. She is a three-time Soccer Buzz All-Region selection, two-time NSCAA All-Region selection and a 2006 Freshman All-American. Mattern has started every game of her career and is on pace to break the South Carolina record for games played and games started. In three seasons at centerback, Mattern has nine goals and five assists for 23 points, has been team leader for the first back-to-back NCAA Tournament bids in program history and led a defense that has created a reputation as one of the best in the nation.