Men's Soccer Player of the Week
Jason Grant, Western Michigan, Forward
Sophomore, St. Louis, Mo. (St. John Vianney)
Western Michigan sophomore Jason Grant totaled five points in two games this week, scoring goals in back-to-back games, and assisting a third goal. He had the game-tying goal in the 12th minute in an eventual 2-1 loss at Bowling Green Friday. On Sunday, Grant helped WMU to a 4-0 win over Florida Atlantic, assisting Cam Jensen's goal in the 87th minute, then turning around and scoring his own goal in the 89th minute. With the win, Western Michigan improved to 8-3-2 on the year. Grant's goals were his second and third of the season.
Reinaldo Brenes, Akron, Forward
Junior, San Jose, Costa Rica (Edison Academic Center (Fla.))
Brenes, who recorded the first hat trick of his career in the Zips' previous match, stayed hot with two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist to lead the nationally-ranked University of Akron men's soccer team to a 5-0 shutout of Florida Atlantic last Friday. Brenes found the back of the net with a header at the nine-minute mark and then chipped a ball over the keeper in the 61st minute. His ball to teammate Dillon Serna in the 56th minute set up the Zips' fourth goal of the match. With the win, the Zips extended their league unbeaten streak to 41 matches (38-0-3), which represents the longest active streak in the nation and the third-longest run in NCAA history. For his efforts, Brenes was named to Top Drawer Soccer's National Team of the Week Monday.
Danny Baraldi, Bowling Green, Forward
Sophomore, Canton, Ohio (Massillon Jackson)
Had a goal and an assist in the Falcons’ lone game of the week, a 2-1 win over Western Michigan on Friday night. His three-point night was his second in three games, and his second in as many home matches. Baraldi scored the first goal of the match, on a free kick in the 11th minute. Then, another free kick led to the winning goal, scored by teammate Anthony Grant with 14:17 left in the second half. Baraldi now has totals of five goals and 12 points, leading the Falcons in both. He has matched his goal total for all of last season. Baraldi now has 30 career points in 29 games, with 10 goals and 10 assists.
Gael Rivera Northern Illinois Midfielder
Junior, Oslo, Norway (WANG Elite Sports Academy)
Gael Rivera scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season on Saturday to lead Northern Illinois to a 1-0 victory over Hartwick. Rivera’s 68th minute tally was the difference as NIU won its only game of the week and moved to 2-0 in conference play. Rivera finished the match with three shots in 68 minutes played
Eric Schoenle, West Virginia, Defender
Senior, Yardley, Pa.
Schoenle scored his fourth goal of the season against Elon on a header last Tuesday. Schoenle then successfully converted a penalty kick on Sunday against Buffalo after drawing the penalty off of a corner kick. Schoenle now leads the team with five goals for a total of 10 points. Schoenle is now ranked second in the Mid-American Conference with five goals.