Tuesday, October 9, 2012
After falling in each of its opening two games of Big East play, Notre Dame needed a lift. It got one from senior forward Ryan Finley, who scored four goals in two games last week to get the Fighting Irish back in contention in the conference’s Blue Division, with the Reading United standout leading the current and former PDL alumni starring in college soccer in the past week.
Finley was named TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Co-Player of the Week, and the Big East’s Offensive Player of the Week, after leading his college side to a pair of emphatic victories. Notre Dame’s 7-1 win against Pittsburgh was the most goals scored in a Big East contest by the Fighting Irish, with Finley scoring in the 33rd and 68th minutes.
Finley’s strong form continued Saturday, as he again scored twice in a 3-0 victory against No. 3 Georgetown. The pair of goals moved Finley into double digits with 10 goals this fall after scoring twice in eight appearances for Reading this summer, putting him in a tie for fourth in Men’s Division I soccer.
PDL All-Western Conference selection Gyasi Zardes of the Ventura County Fusion was also selected to the TDS Team of the Week after the CSU Bakersfield standout scored three goals and added an assist in a pair of weekend contests. Zardes, who had eight goals for the Fusion this summer, also remained on top of TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 100 rankings.
Also selected for the TDS Team of the Week was Portland Timbers U-23s midfielder Andrew Ribeiro, with the Creighton standout playing every minute of a pair of victories last week. Ribeiro, who had two goals and two assists for the Timbers U-23s during the summer, notched the game-winning goal for the Blue Hens as they took an overtime victory against SIU-Evansville on Saturday night.
2012 PDL Goalkeeper of the Year Adam Grinwis took the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after the Michigan Bucks standout recorded a career-high 12 saves in Michigan’s 1-1 draw against Penn State on Saturday night. Grinwis has played every minute for the Wolverines this season.
Elon’s Chris Thomas continued his standout season as the former Carolina Dynamo forward earned his third Southern Conference Player of the Week award of the season as the Phoenix defeated a pair of ranked opponents. Thomas scored twice, and added an assist, in a 3-2 victory against No. 18 West Virginia last Tuesday night, and then added another goal from the penalty spot to give his side an overtime victory against No. 22 Furman.
Thomas has now scored 46 goals in his Elon career, setting a new school record, with the senior having also set single-season records this fall for goals (16) and points (35). His 16 goals lead NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer.
Former Ocean City Nor’easters goalkeeper John Fogarty took Big East Goalkeeper of the Week honors after he recorded a pair of shutouts for Villanova against St. John’s and DePaul. Fogarty has posted four shutouts this season for the Wildcats, and has a 0.73 goals-against average this season.
Chicago Fire PDL midfielder Tyler Engel claimed his second Conference-USA Offensive Player of the Week award this fall after recording a goal and two assists in SMU’s pair of victories this past week. Engel had the assist on the game-winner as the Mustangs took a 1-0 victory against Tulsa, then scored the game-winning goal for the Mustangs in a 2-0 win against Kentucky.
East Tennessee State’s David Geno also claimed a second conference award of the season, with the IMG Bradenton Academics midfielder earning Atlantic Sun Player of the Week honors. The junior became the leading scorer in the Buccaneers’ history, passing the Columbus Crew’s Aaron Schoenfield, as he scored in both of the team’s victories in the past week.
Worcester Hydra goalkeeper Oliver Blum claimed the Colonial Athletic Association’s Player of the Week award after helping Northeastern defeat both Drexel and James Madison. Blum, who had three shutouts for the Hydra in their inaugural season, made eight saves across the two games, and now leads the CAA in goals-against average (0.63) and save percentage (.839) this season.
Blum shared the award with Ocala Stampede midfielder Chris Griebsch, who starred as Hofstra took a pair of victories during the week. Griebsch had assists on three of the Pride’s four goals, taking the conference lead with six assists as his side defeated George Mason 3-1 and Georgia State 1-0.
Des Moines Menace goalkeeper Brian Billings claimed the Missouri Valley Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week award after the Bradley standout allowed only one goal in a pair of victories. Billings saved a penalty kick in the Braves’ 3-1 victory against No. 17 Northwestern, one of seven saves in that contest, then recorded a shutout as Bradley opened its MVC schedule with a 1-0 win against Missouri State.
Former GPS Portland Phoenix forward Dale McDonald claimed the Patriot League’s Offensive Player of the Week award after leading American to a come-from-behind victory against Army on Saturday, while former Michigan Bucks forward Kyle Bethel claimed The Summit League’s Offensive Player of the Week award after recording a goal and four assists in two games for Oakland (Mich.) University.