Highlighted by Fisk, Krzeczowski, Six Gamecocks Earn All-SEC Honors
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina seniors Grace Fisk and Mikayla Krzeczowski both earned major SEC season awards to lead six Gamecocks recognized by the league on Sunday. Fisk was named Co-Defender of the Year while Krzeczowski earned the SEC’s first Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Fisk and Krzeczowski both were named to the All-SEC First Team while Anna Patten, Jyllissa Harris and Lauren Chang all earned All-SEC Second Team honors. Freshman Samantha Chang was also named to the All-Freshman team. The six total players for the Gamecocks matches Arkansas with the most individuals recognized on the All-SEC teams.
“Our program is honored to have so many players recognized this season by earning All-SEC honors,” South Carolina head coach Shelley Smith said. “They are all deserving and are included among a tremendous group of athletes selected from the conference. In addition, to have two players of the year overall is very special, so happy for Mikayla [Krzeczowski] and Grace [Fisk] as they have both had an outstanding senior season. Even more special is having Grace selected Defensive Player of the Year for three years in a row. That says a lot about the respect she has earned and the consistency and quality she has shown in her play each season.”
Forty-four Gamecocks have now earned All-SEC honors under Smith, while Fisk becomes the first SEC student-athlete to win a major SEC defensive award three times.
“It’s a huge honor to win co-defensive player of the year, especially with the huge amount of quality in the league,” Fisk said. “As a team we pride ourselves on our defense and I truly think that any of our back line or defensive midfielders could have won this award. I’m delighted for Mikayla too; she has come up huge for us with some big saves and is so deserving of her award.”
Fisk, who is now also a three-time All-SEC First Team selection, has served as an anchor for the Gamecocks defense this season. Fisk is one of just six Gamecock women’s soccer players to be named to the All-SEC First Team three times. The junior defender has aided in 11 clean sheets this season and has one assist in the win over No. 13 Arkansas. Fisk was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week once this season back on Sept. 30.
“It’s always nice having your hard work recognized but this award would not be possible without my teammates and my coaches,” Krzeczowski said. “It’s an honor and privilege to represent the SEC, Gamecock women’s soccer and the University of South Carolina. There are many goalkeepers in this league who are outstanding and to be considered among them is an honor. I’m thankful to the SEC for this incredible award.”
Krzeczowski owns nearly every possible record in South Carolina goalkeeping history. Alongside Fisk, the Douglasville, Ga., native is also one of six Gamecock women’s soccer players to be named to the All-SEC First Team three times. Krzeczowski has 10 shutouts in 2019 and has been a part of 11 overall. She’s moved into a tie for 11th in NCAA history with 44 career shutouts. Her 44 clean sheets are the most among active NCAA goalkeepers and is a SEC record. She’s also first in program history in goals against average (0.48) and is second in matches started (81). Her 200 career saves are the fourth most in program history and she’s never missed a match or a start in her career, the longest streak in program history without missing a match.
Junior Anna Patten earned her first career conference honor with her Second Team nod. The Harpenden, England, native scored three goals during the regular season, including one game-winning goal against Purdue. Patten was the only SEC player to be named SEC Defensive Player of the Week multiple times and was the first Gamecock defender to score three goals in a season since Fisk in 2017.
Lauren Chang’s 2019 performance was no surprise after a spectacular 2018 campaign. Chang sits second on the team in goals (5) and in points (13). Her 13 shots and 14 on goal are both second on the team this season. The All-SEC honor is the second of her career, the second-straight season the midfielder has been named to the Second Team.
For Harris, the All-SEC honor is her second after being named to the All-Freshman team in 2018. Her Second Team honor has been proven by her play as a defensive midfielder throughout the season, aiding in Carolina’s SEC-leading 11 clean sheets and seven in SEC play. Harris has also picked up a pair of goals this season, an equalizer against Alabama on the road along with the game-winning goal against No. 13 Arkansas.
Samantha Chang, a redshirt freshman, is the lone Gamecock on the All-Freshman team. The Mississauga, Ontario, native is second on the team in assists with four this season, including a pair in her Gamecock debut against No. 21 NC State. She scored her first career goal against Jacksonville and then notched her first SEC point against Kentucky, assisting Ryan Gareis’ game-winning goal.
No. 8 South Carolina (13-1-3, 7-0-3 SEC) heads to Orange Beach, Ala., on Tue., Nov. 3 to take on Georgia in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. The match begins at 3:30 p.m. ET, will air on SEC Network.