Player named Disney Soccer/NSCAA National Player of the Week 10-11-2011

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The awards continue to roll in for UNCG women's soccer player Kristin Player, who was named the Disney Soccer/NSCAA National Player of the Week on Wednesday.

Each week, a male and female player are selected by a committee from a nomination pool comprised of players of the week from each NCAA Division I soccer conference. The national players of the week are announced each Wednesday afternoon through, the official website of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

The winners are also recognized at halftime of the NSCAA College Game of the Week on Fox Soccer, a schedule of 20 men's and women's intercollegiate matches. This week features a Friday night doubleheader, kicking off when the New Hampshire men's side travels to UMBC for a 7 p.m. clash. At 10 p.m., the Stanford women put their No. 1 ranking on the line in a Pac-12 battle at Arizona State.

Player, a forward for the Spartans, has also been named the Southern Conference Player of the Week and to the Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll this week. Her national player of the week honor is believed to be the first in UNCG's storied women's soccer history.

"Kristin has had a tremendous start to the 2011 season and the past two weekends has shown many why she is one of the most talented attacking players in our conference," UNCG coach Steve Nugent said. "Her mobility and attacking creativity level has been exceptional and she has been scoring with regularity. We are very proud of Kristin's achievements and wish her continued success as our difficult conference schedule goes forward."

Player led UNCG to a pair of big road wins over SoCon foes last week, putting the Spartans alone atop the league standings.

The Placentia, Calif., native scored seven points on three goals and assist last week in games against The Citadel and College of Charleston. Player scored a pair of game-winning goals, both of them in dramatic fashion in the final seven minutes of games that had been tied to that point.

Against The Citadel on Friday, Player's goal in the 84th minute snapped a 2-2 tie and put the Spartans ahead for good with just minutes to play. A minute later, the redshirt senior assisted on another goal as UNCG added some insurance. The assist was her sixth of the season, matching her career high.

In a battle of SoCon leaders two days later at CofC, Player scored both goals in UNCG's 2-1 win. Her 13th-minute strike gave UNCG a lead it would hold most of the day before the Cougars tied the game in the 84th minute. Player answered quickly, scoring her second goal of the day in the 88th minute to give the Spartans the win.

"I never really thought about it," Player said of earning the national honor. "It feels awesome, but I wouldn't be there without my teammates. We've been through so much together. They do all the hard work and I just run."

UNCG's leading scorer with 20 points on seven goals and six assists this season – with 19 of those points coming in the last seven games –  Player is now in sixth place in UNCG history in career goals (31) and points (83) and eighth in career assists (21). Player is the SoCon's active career leader in all three categories.

Player's scoring surge has helped spur the Spartans' recent turnaround. After starting 1-6 against a nonconference schedule that included four ranked teams, UNCG is now 6-7 overall and 5-1 in the SoCon.

"I just think we knew we could play a certain way," Player said of the turnaround. "We might have started a little slow, but now that it matters, we're doing what we need to do. We're all on the same page and we believe in each other. We all want the same success."

UNCG, winner of four straight matches, returns to action Friday when it hosts Wofford at the UNCG Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m.

Disney Soccer/NSCAA National Player of the Week

Aug. 24: Women – Lexi Kopf, UC Irvine; Men – No selection (season not started)
Aug. 31: Women – Courtney Jones, North Carolina; Men – Tyler Riggs, Kentucky
Sept. 7: Women – Krista Lopez, Oklahoma State; Men – Billy Schuler, North Carolina
Sept. 14: Women – Lindsay Taylor, Stanford; Men – Tim Hopkinson, Old Dominion
Sept. 21: Women – Katie Stengel, Wake Forest; Men – Philip Aseweh, Liberty
Sept. 28: Women – Alexis Owens, Tennessee; Men – Steven Evans, Portland
Oct. 5: Women – Katie Ryan, Villanova; Men – Casey Townsend, Maryland
Oct. 12: Women – Kristin Player, UNCG; Men – Andrew Wenger, Duke

- UNCG -

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