College Soccer News National Player Of The Week - Week Ending October 20, 2013

Steve Birnbaum - Senior - Defender - California -

The fifth-year senior who redshirted the 2012 season due to injury continues to come up with big plays for the number one ranked Golden Bears in 2013.  In the 86th minute of play on Sunday in California's Pac-12 contest with Stanford, Birnbaum turned lemons into lemonade when he alerty recovered the rebound of his missed penalty kick and drove it into the back of the net to give the Golden Bears the edge they needed to top a good Stanford team 1-0.  The penalty kick resulted from a foul in the box on California freshman forward Nick Lima.  The goal was Birnbaum's eighth of the year to date.  

Birnbaum is also a key part of a stout California defense that shutout Stanford and has held a very competitive slate of opponents to a total of only nine goals so far this year. A crowd of 2,012 fans were present at Edwards Stadiumin Berkeley to witness the California victory. The Golden Bears under the direction of Kevin Grimes improve to 10-0-2 overall with a 4-0-1 record in Pac-12 action.  

California returns to the pitch again on Friday, October 25 when they host San Diego out of the West Coast Conference on Friday, October 25.