South Carolina swept the weekly Conference USA Player of the Week awards on Monday, as freshman midfielder Bradlee Baladez was named the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, and senior goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week for their play vs. NC State and No. 22 UCF.
Baladez scored twice last week, collecting his team-leading fourth game-winner of the season in a 1-0 victory over NC State, while he added his team-leading fifth goal of the season in Carolina's 1-1 double overtime tie vs. No. 22 UCF. Against NC State, senior forward Blake Brettschneider collected a ball inside the Wolfpack backfield and beat one NC State defender before placing a ball into the path of Baladez, who hit a strike to the far post past NCSU's goalkeeper for the 1-0 Carolina upper hand.
In the contest against UCF, Baladez was heavily defended in the Knight backfield when Brettschneider's pass split two defenders, again into the path of Baladez, who knocked the ball past Shawn Doyle, the C-USA leader in goals against average, for the South Carolina goal. The tie vs. UCF saw the Gamecocks collect a crucial point in the conference race. Baladez earns the weekly C-USA honor for the second time of the season (Oct. 4). Maurer allowed just one goal in two contests last week, while collecting his 25th career shutout in Carolina's 1-0 victory over NC State. Maurer is just 0.5 shutouts away from matching Henry Ring for second all-time in South Carolina history in the category. Maurer collected one save vs. NCSU,while he earned a game-best six saves in South Carolina's 1-1 tie vs. No. 22 UCF. The tie vs. the Knights saw the Gamecocks collect a crucial point in the conference race.
After the week, Maurer's goals against average stands at 1.04. Maurer takes Defensive Player of the Week accolades for the third time this season and the ninth time of his career, the most in career honors in C-USA history.