MAC Announces Women’s Soccer Players of the Week

Updated 9/24/2012

Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week
Kayla Zakrzewski, Miami, Midfielder
Junior London, Ont. (A.B. Lucas SS)
Junior Kayla Zakrzewski led Miami to a 2-0 start to MAC play, tallying two goals and two assists for six points in a pair of matches over the weekend. She entered the weekend with just two goals and three assists all season. In Friday’s 4-1 MAC-opening victory over Akron, Zakrzewski stole the show as she had a hand in each of Miami’s first three goals, scoring two and assisting on the other. She scored Miami’s first goal of the match in the 51st minute to break a scoreless deadlock on a great individual effort, beating her defender one-on-one and firing a hard shot that snuck past the keeper. She then assisted on the RedHawks’ second goal, which was the game-winner, with a perfect cross along the end line that led to an easy goal. Zakrzewski capped her outburst with a blast from the top of the 18-yard box that landed in the top corner of the net for an unassisted goal. It was her first multi-goal game this year and third of her career, tying a career high for goals, while her five points in the match were a season high, one shy of her career high. She did all this in just 55 minutes of action, as she took a game-high five shots in the match and put all five on goal, while all of her points came in a 12-minute stretch. In Sunday’s 2-0 shutout of Buffalo, Zakrzewski again started at outside midfield and played 75 minutes. She assisted on Miami’s second goal in the 57th minute with a perfect cross to set up the score, which secured the victory. Her only shot of the game was on goal, as well, as all of her shots for the weekend were on target.

Women's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week
Pavla Benyrova, Ball State, Defender
Sophomore, Prague, Czech Republic (Gymnasium Prague 9)
Benyrova scored a game-winning goal and assisted on another goal over the weekend while also continuing to frustrate opponents with her defense. The sophomore defender tallied the game-winner Friday against Buffalo on a penalty kick in the 80th minute to lift Ball State to a 2-1 victory. She then assisted on the Cardinals’ first goal Sunday in the team’s 2-1 win over Akron. Benyrova’s strong defensive play in both games provided Ball State’s opponents virtually no chances of her side of the field. She anchored a back line that surrendered just nine shots on goal for the weekend, helping the Cardinals to a 2-0 start to MAC play. Despite being a defender, Benyrova is tied for second on the Ball State team this season with five points. 

 

Other Nominees:

Ashley Hughes, Akron, Forward
Senior, Rochester, N.Y. (The Aquinas Institute)

Hughes had a hand in both of Akron's goals this weekend. She scored in the 78th minute at Miami on Friday and then assisted Karina Atkinson's equalizer in the 39th minute on Sunday at Miami. Hughes now is tied for the team in goals and assists with three each for nine total points.

Amber Kern, Akron, Defender
Junior, Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Coffman HS)
Kern has been a key member of the Zips defense all season, starting in the central defense for all nine games thus far this year. She played 79 minutes on Friday at Miami and played 82 minutes on Sunday at Ball State, while firing a free kick just wide of goal for the Akron attack.
 
 
Michelle Blok, Ball State, Midfielder
Junior, Noblesville, Ind. (Noblesville)
Blok was a key reason Ball State started 2-0 in MAC play over the weekend as she scored the game-tying goal in Friday’s victory over Buffalo and assisted on the game-winner Sunday versus Akron. In Friday’s 2-1 win over Buffalo, Blok broke through to put the Cardinals on the board in the 76th minute to tie the score at 1-1. A free kick from teammate Maimee Morris was deflected, and Blok gathered the loose ball and found the back of the net. Sunday against Akron, she was again involved in a big play when she assisted Cailey Starck on the game-winning goal in the 82nd minute of Ball State’s 2-1 victory.
 
Jenna Underwood Bowling Green, Goalkeeper
Freshman, Goodrich, Mich. (Goodrich)
Had a goals-against average of just 0.45 on the week, allowing only one goal in 200 minutes of work. Made five saves in each of the Falcons’ weekend matches, against Ohio and Kent State, and had a saves percentage of .909 on the weekend.  Allowed only one goal in the MAC opener vs. Ohio, then recorded her first collegiate shutout, blanking Kent State for 110 minutes in a double-overtime tie.  On the season, Underwood now has 19 saves, a saves pct. Of .760 and a GAA of 1.35.'
 

Bailey Brandon, Central Michigan University Defender 
Senior Livonia, Mich. / Livonia Churchill HS Weekend 

Brandon was instrumental in a Chippewas defense that allowed only one goal in an undefeated opening weekend of MAC play. She was a leader in earning the Chippewas' fifth shutout of the season against Ohio on Sunday, during which the Bobcats mustered one shot on goal and six total shots. She also nearly added a goal of her own in the second half on a header that went just high of the crossbar. The defense only allowed five shots on goal against Kent State on Friday.

Laura Gosse, Central Michigan University Forward 
Sophomore, Markham, Ontario (Markville SS)

Gosse scored two goals in two games in the opening weekend of MAC play as the Chippewas began their quest for a third MAC Championship in four years, including the eventual game-winner against Ohio on Sunday. The sophomore took the ball in the fourth minute, made a run down the right side of the field and fired a shot from approximately 30 yards out. The shot was mishandled by the Ohio keeper and found its way into goal for a 1-0 lead, which would ultimately be the final score. In Friday's match against Kent State, she put the Chippewas on the board in the seventh minute on a run up the left side, which she fired past the Kent State keeper from 15 yards out for an early 1-0 lead.

Cara Cutaia, Eastern Michigan, Midfielder
Junior, Burlington, Ontario (Notre Dame Catholic)

Cutaia turned in a dominating performance on the road in EMU's 3-0 shutout over Toledo on Sunday. The junior midfielder scored two goals and added an assist for a five-point afternoon. The five-point output tied Cutaia for the third-most points scored by an EMU player in the 18-year history of the program. Cutaia is now tied for the most points on the team with 12 and notched her first game-winning marker of the year in the 30th minute. Sunday's game valuted Cutaia well past her previous career-high points total of eight. EMU is 2-0 to begin MAC play for the first time since 2000.

Allison Norenberg, Miami, Goalkeeper
Redshirt Sophomore Palatine, Ill. (William Fremd HS)
Results: 9/21, W vs. Akron, 4-1; 9/23, W vs. Buffalo, 2-0
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Allison Norenberg led the RedHawks to a pair of MAC opening wins over the weekend as she played all 180 minutes in goal. She allowed just one goal all weekend in a 4-1 victory over Akron and pitched her third complete shutout of the season Sunday in a 2-0 win over Buffalo. Norenberg made a save in each contest and has now helped the RedHawks pitch five shutouts on the year, as she has combined for two more. Miami had a total of four shutouts all of last season. She dropped her GAA from 0.78 to 0.72 for the season with her play over the weekend.
 
Amy Carr, Northern Illinois, Goalkeeper
Junior Hemel Hempstead, England
Junior Amy Carr totaled six saves over, one shutout and allowed one goal in the opening weekend of Mid-American Conference play. Carr lead the Huskies to a 0-1-1 record between the sticks, allowing her only goal on a penalty kick in the 62nd versus Eastern Michigan. In her last four appearances, she has only allowed two goals, both PK's. She last allowed a shot on goal slip past her in the 61st minute versus Northwestern on Sept. 7, 399 minutes ago.
 
Mattie Liston, Ohio, Goalkeeper
Junior Lakewood, Ohio (Montessori HS of University Circle)
Mattie had a strong week for Ohio Soccer, helping pace the Bobcats to a 1-1 start in Mid-American Conference play. The junior made four saves en route to recording her fifth shutout of the season on Friday during a 1-0 win in Bowling Green. The shutout against the Falcons was her second in a row and her fifth in six games. She followed this up with a heroic 11-save effort in a narrow 1-0 loss at Central Michigan on Sunday. Liston’s 11 saves on Sunday marked the sixth highest single-game save total in Ohio history and the second highest in her career. 
Following this weekend’s action, Liston has moved into second place all-time in Ohio history in terms of number of total saves. The junior has stopped 234 shots during her career as a Bobcat. 
 
Erin Schwenke, Ohio, Forward
Senior, Solon, Ohio (Solon)
Erin had a good offensive weekend for the Bobcats, scoring Ohio’s lone goal of the weekend in a 1-0 win at Bowling Green on Friday. The win was Ohio’s sixth in a row, putting the team on a winning streak the likes of which had not been achieved in eight seasons. Schwenke scored this goal in her first appearance back from a mid-season injury and fired two total shots on Friday, both of which were on target. 
The senior resumed her starting role in the match at Central Michigan on Sunday. Erin played well against the Chippewas, registering Ohio’s only shot on goal of the match. 
 
Michelle Watson, Western Michigan, Goalkeeper
Junior, Cincinnati, Ohio (McAuley)
Watson played all 220 minutes of soccer in goal for the Broncos making seven total saves on the weekend to record two shutouts. Watson made two saves in WMU's 0-0 tie with defending MAC Champions Toledo to earn the Broncos' first shutout of the season. She followed it up with a five save performance in a 0-0 tie with Northern Illinois on the road to help the Broncos earn two points on the weekend. The shutouts were the 13th and 14th of her career, putting her just six shy of tying the program record.