Tuesday, September 18, 2012
On a re-tooled Thunder Bay Chill side this summer, defender Axel Sjoberg played a key role in helping the club claim another Heartland Division title, playing 15 games and the fourth-highest minutes in the squad while scoring two goals and adding an assist.
Sjoberg’s strong play has continued this fall, where the redshirt freshman has helped No. 14 Marquette to a perfect 7-0-0 record to start the season. The 6-foot-7 center back from Stockholm, Sweden, played a major role this past weekend as the Golden Eagles took victory against both Michigan and Michigan State, earning TopDrawerSoccer.com and College Soccer News’ Player of the Week award to lead the current and former PDL alumni who starred in college soccer this past week.
Sjoberg had three goals during the weekend, scoring both goals in Marquette’s 2-1 victory against the Wolverines on Friday night at Valley Fields. He then notched the overtime winner against the Spartans on Sunday, giving the Golden Eagles another 2-1 win and keeping their perfect season intact. Sjoberg was also named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
Six other current or former PDL players joined Sjoberg on the TDS Team of the Week, with the Reading United duo of Will Bates and Leonardo Fernandes both being selected. Bates had a hat trick for Virginia in its 6-1 victory against Mount St. Mary’s last Tuesday night, while Fernandes led Stony Brook to a pair of victories with three goals and an assist against Fordham and Buffalo. Fernandes also took America East Player of the Week honors for his efforts as the Seawolves moved to 5-2-0 this season.
Orange County Blue Star forward Andy Riemer matched Bates by notching a hat trick for Georgetown on Sunday as the Hoyas took a comfortable victory against Penn. Former Baton Rouge Capitals forward Achille Campion had a pair of goals for UC Santa Barbara as the Gauchos took a pair of victories, as did former Real Maryland Monarchs forward Jake Pace in new No. 1 Maryland’s two wins during the weekend.
Rounding out the group was Chicago Fire PDL defender Nikko Boxall, who played every minute as Northwestern recorded a pair of shutout victories against Iona and Milwaukee to win the Lakeside Classic on home turf. Boxall was also named Tournament MVP as he found the net in the Wildcats’ 2-0 win against the Panthers on Sunday.
Fellow Fire PDL alum Jacob Bushue took the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Week award after recording a goal and an assist in Indiana’s 2-0 victory against No. 22 SIU-Edwardsville. Bushue’s teammate with the Hoosiers, Caleb Konstanski, took Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors, with the former Northern Virginia Royals defender scoring the game-winning goal in the same contest.
Joining Sjoberg in being honored by the Big East was Jersey Express goalkeeper Rafael Diaz, who put in a standout display on national television to allow St. John’s to earn a 0-0 draw with Akron on Friday night in Fox Soccer’s NSCAA Game of the Week and earn Defensive Player of the Week award. Diaz made four big saves against the Zips, and followed it up with a season-high six-save performance as the Red Storm took a 1-1 draw with Butler.
Akron goalkeeper David Meves, who dueled Diaz in the scoreless draw between the Zips and Red Storm, took the Mid-American Conference’s Player of the Week award as the Chicago Fire PDL player also recorded a shutout in the Zips impressive 5-0 victory against South Florida on Sunday night. Meves made six saves in the two contests, and now sits second on the school’s all-time shutout list with 42.
The Carolina Dynamo’s Mamadee Nyepon was named the Big South Attacking Player of the Week after starring for High Point this past weekend. Nyepon headed home Dynamo teammate Shane Malcolm’s cross to give the Panthers the lead in a 2-0 victory against UNC-Greensboro, and then had a goal and an assist in a 5-1 victory against Longwood.
FC Tucson forward Nick Marshall took the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s Player of the Week award after a strong weekend for UNLV. A week after his return from injury, Marshall had two goals and an assist in a 5-1 victory against Canisius. The senior also drew a penalty kick in the contest, and now has 11 points in four games since his return.
Former West Texas Sockers goalkeeper Jaime Ibarra was named the Conference-USA Co-Defensive Player of the Week after he was named the MVP of the SMU Classic. Ibarra recorded a pair of shutouts for the Mustangs, including saving a late penalty kick against Oakland on Friday night that allowed his side to go on and take victory in overtime.
Former New Orleans Jesters forward Reece Wilson took the Northeast Conference’s Player of the Week award after scoring three goals in two games at Belmont University’s Mafiaoza’s Invitational. Wilson, who played for the Jesters while attending NAIA school William Carey University, scored twice in a 3-1 win against Lipscomb on Sunday, adding a third in his side’s 3-2 overtime defeat to the host earlier in the week.