National Player Of The Week

College Soccer News National Player Of The Week - Week Ending November 3, 2013

Tyler Riggs - Senior - Forward - Kentucky -

The Wildcat forward had a very productive week of play that included the game-winning goal in Kentucky's 2-0 win over Marshall in Huntington and a three-goal second stanza in Kentucky's 6-1 win over Florida Atlantic University on senior day.  Both contests were must win matches for the Wildcats who improved their overall record to 6-8-2 with a 3-3-2 mark in Conference USA play which enabled them to secure a spot in the upcoming Conference USA Tournament.  

In the contest with Marshall, Riggs drilled a shot just inside the near post from the top of the box with a double assist from teammates Bryan Celis and Napo Matsoso that set up the scoring opportunity.  In the match with FAU, Justin Laird and Bryan Celis contributed the assists on Riggs' first goal, Matsoso and Laird were responsible for the helpers on the second score, and Ryan Creel and Sam Miller contributed the assists on Riggs' third goal.  

Regarding Riggs' three goal effort, UK head coach Johan Cedergren stated, "It was great for Riggs to get a hat trick. It just shows the kind of quality player he can be when he is really switched on."  Cedergren added, "A game like today, where he is switched on and is working really hard and is fighting for his team, there are few guys out there that are better.  He is going to be huge for us going into the conference tournament."

Riggs stated, "Seemed like everything I touched went positive.  I am so thankful and it couldn't have come at a better time."  Riggs has a total of five goals so far this season which gives him a total of twenty-eight career goals during his tenure to date at Kentucky.  

Kentucky returns to the pitch on Tuesday, November 5 when they host Wright State at the UK Soccer Complex.  


College Soccer News National Player Of The Week - Week Ending October 27, 2013

Darius Madison - Sophomore - Forward - Virginia -

Madison, who hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a key element in a Virginia team that from top to bottom may be as talented as any team in the country.  Virginia is capable of taking their game to a higher level when they effectively combine and leverage their individual talents. The Cavaliers did just that when they traveled to Notre Dame and topped a previously undefeated Fighting Irish squad 2-0 with Madison providing the edge they needed on the offensive side of the ball by creating and then finishing two big scoring opportunities. It was a team effort and win but Madison was clearly the difference maker scoring from eighteen and six yards out after skillfully creating the space he needed to find the back of the net.           

Virginia mentor George Gelnovatch stated, "We did a good job of knowing how they play and move and not letting them get into a rhythm.  On the other side, we knew what we needed to do to get into a rhythm and were able to do that."  Gelnovatch summed things up well when he added, "We came into the game after tying the last three with some extra assertiveness, focus and tactical discipline."

Madison has scored five goals so far this year as Virginia improves to 7-3-4 overall with a 3-2-4 mark in conference play.  The Cavaliers return to the pitch when they welcome non-conference foe UNC Greensboro to Klockner Stadium on Greensboro on Tuesday, October 29.  


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.   

College Soccer News National Player Of The Week - Week Ending October 13, 2013

C Nortey - Redshirt Sophomore - Forward - Marquette -

Nortey is a difference maker who continues to come up with the big plays the Golden Eagles need to prevail.  He scored the game-winning goal in overtime with assists from Adam Lysak and Bryan Ciesiulka to give Marquette the edge they needed to come out on top of a solid Butler side 3-2. He also netted what proved to be the game-winning goal after making a nice run to the near post where he received a perfectly weighted cross from senior back Paul Dillon in Marquette's1-0 win over highly regarded Creighton.  

After missing the 2012 season due to injury Nortey has returned to the pitch and is proving himself to be the impact player that everyone expected him to after a banner freshman season in 2011.  He has scored seven goals to date including the game-winning goals in each of Marquette's four Big East Conference wins so far this year.  

Marquette appears to be gaining momentum.  The Golden Eagles are 8-3-1 overall and now head down the home stretch of the 2013 regular season with a dance card in front of them that includes several difficult opponents. Their next hurdle is an on the road matchup with a significantly improved Providence Friar squad on Saturday, October 19.