The College Soccer News Team Of The Week Recognizes Players On Both Sides Of The Ball Who Played A Key Role in The Success Their Teams Enjoyed During The Week.
|Elyse Bennett – Senior – Forward – Washington State – Bennett continues to be key ingredient in Washington State’s attack. She came up with the big play the Cougs needed to secure a hard fought 1-0 win on the road over Oregon when she drove a header into the back of the frame in the 89th minute of play. Bennett also contributed an assist on the goal scored by Margie Detrizio in Washington State’s 3-2 Pac-12 win in overtime on the road against Oregon State. The Cougs improve to 12-2-4 with a 6-1-3 mark in conference play.|
|Caroline Conti – Junior – Forward – Clemson – Conti played a key role in two good ACC wins for the Tigers. Her skills were on display with an impressive two goal and one assist evening to help power Clemson past Boston College 4-1. She also scored Clemson’s first goal in their subsequent win over number four seeded Notre Dame in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. The Tigers advance to the ACC semifinals on Friday against number one seed Virginia.|
|Desiree Mendoza – Freshman – Forward – UC Irvine – Mendoza played a key role in UC Irvine’s 2-0 win over Cal Poly. She scored and served in the corner kick that Destinee Manzo finished to give the Anteaters the edge they needed to prevail. UC Irvine improves to 13-5-0 with an 8-2-0 mark in Big West play. The win over Cal Poly enabled UC Irvine to secure the number one seed in the Big West Conference tournament. The Anteaters will host UC Santa Barbara on Thursday in the semifinals.|
|Sarah Griffith – Redshirt Senior – Forward – Purdue – Griffith established once again that it is difficult for opposing teams to contain her. She came up with the big play the Boilermakers needed to top Ohio State 1-0 when she found the back of the net in the 55th minute of play to secure her 15th goal on the season. Purdue advances to face Michigan in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Purdue has also been solid on the defensive side of the ball with shutouts in four of their last five contests.|
|Trinity Byars – Freshman – Forward – Texas – Byars is a playmaker and is among the reasons why Texas is on a 13 game unbeaten streak. She made a nice move off the dribble to create the space and angle she needed to score Texas’ first goal in their 2-0 win over Kansas. She followed that up with an explosive three goal and one assist evening to help the Longhorns top Oklahoma 5-2 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. Texas advances to the semifinals where they will face a very good West Virginia team.|
|Yujie Zhao – Senior – Midfielder – Florida State – Zhao drove a picture perfect bending ball into the upper right corner of the goal from outside the box after receiving a pass from Clara Robbins that enabled the Seminoles to come from behind to tie top ranked Virginia 1-1 in a classic college soccer match between two of the top teams in the nation. Diana Ordonez scored her fourteenth goal of the season that was set up by a pass from Samar Guidry to give Virginia an early advantage. The draw enabled Virginia to secure the ACC regular season title and the top seed in the ACC Tournament. Virginia finished regular season play with a 15-1-2 record and 8-0-2 mark in conference play. FSU concluded regular season play with a 14-1-2 record and a 7-1-2 mark in ACC play.|
|Croix Bethune – Junior – Midfielder – USC – Bethune was a difference maker for the Trojans. She used her quickness and finishing skills to score what proved to be the game-winner in USC’s 2-0 win over California. She also contributed the assist on teammate Simone Jackson’s goal and scored twice including the game-winner in overtime to help USC come from two goals down to top Stanford 3-2. The Trojans are 13-2-2 overall with an 8-0-2 mark in Pac-12 play. USC faces UCLA on Friday with the Pac-12 title on the line.|
|Nicki Hernandez – Senior – Midfielder – MIchigan – Hernandez makes good things happen for the Wolverines. This week she sent a header into the back of the net to get Michigan on the board early and contributed an assist on the goal scored by senior midfielder Raleigh Loughman in the Wolverines 3-1 win over Penn State. Michigan advances to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament where they will square off with Purdue on Thursday. The Wolverines are 13-3-3 overall with a 6-3-2 record in Big Ten play.|
|Meg Sheppard – Junior – Defender – Lamar – Sheppard had an impact on both sides of the ball for the Cardinals. She was part of a Lamar defense that shutout Chicago State 2-0 and Abilene Christian 1-0. She also also scored the game-winning goal with two-and-a half minutes remaining in the second overtime period to give Lamar the edge they needed to secure the win over Abilene Christian.|
|Gaby Schwartz – Graduate Student – Defender – Milwaukee – Schwartz decisively converted a penalty kick that gave Milwaukee the edge they needed to top Green Bay 1-0 to finish Horizon League play with a perfect 11-0-0 mark. She also continues to be a solid part of a very tenacious Panther defense that has only allowed a total of six goals on the season. Milwaukee improves to 16-1-0.|
|Grace Stordy – Sophomore – Defender – Memphis – Stordy contributed on both sides of the ball for the Tigers|
scoring twice in their 5-0 win over SMU and putting in a full solid ninety minute shift in the shutout over the Mustangs and subsequent 2-0 shutout over UCF in the first round of the AAC Tourney. The Tigers improve to 12-4-1 overall and advance to the AAC semifinals where they will tangle with Houston on Thursday.
|Kylie Foutch – Sophomore – Goalkeeper – Santa Clara – Foutch made the big stops that she needed to make to give the Broncos the opportunity to top BYU and move into a first place tie with BYU in the West Coast Conference hierarchy. Kelsey Turnbow contributed the game-winning goal for Santa Clara. The Broncos gain traction and improve to 9-5-2 with a 6-1-0 mark in WCC play.|