KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Sept. 17, 2019) – Eight student-athletes representing all three NCAA divisions, as well as two representatives from the junior college ranks, have received Player of the Week honors from United Soccer Coaches, the association announced on Tuesday.
NCAA Division I Men: Shane Lanson (SMU)
NCAA Division I Women: Anna Podojil (Arkansas)
NCAA Division II Men: Alejandro Chavarria (Mississippi College)
NCAA Division II Women: Cecilia Puentes (Pace University)
NCAA Division III Men: Jake Castro (UMass Dartmouth)
NCAA Division III Women: Mallensy Vargas (New Jersey City University)
Junior College Men: Bryan Ortega (Cerritos College)
Junior College Women: Kayla Alsheimer (Herkimer College)
SMU sophomore goalkeeper Shane Lanson (New Orleans, La.) posted a pair of clean sheets, including a shutout of second-ranked Duke as the Mustangs went 2-0 on the week. Arkansas freshman forward Anna Podojil (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored both game-winning goals as the Razorbacks went 2-0 on the week, including an upset of previously unbeaten and top-ranked North Carolina.
In NCAA-II, Mississippi College junior keeper Alejandro Chavarria (Madrid, Spain) recorded 14 saves in 220 minutes of shutout action last week as the Choctaws played to a pair of draws. He now has three straight shutouts to open the season. On the women’s side, Pace University freshman forward Cecilia Puentes (Garwood, N.J.) scored five goals, including two game-winners and a hat trick as Pace went undefeated and picked up a shutout win to open conference play.
UMass Dartmouth sophomore goalkeeper Jake Castro (Swansea, Mass.) took home NCAA Division III men’s honors after recording 28 saves in 270 minutes of action. He helped the Corsairs to three wins on the week, including a pair of shutouts. Mallensy Vargas (North Bergen, N.J.), a senior midfielder for New Jersey City University scored 12 goals and dished out five assists for NJCU. She was involved in 17 of 18 goals scored over the four games and her point total is believed to be the most in the same calendar week in NCAA Division III history.
Junior College Player of the Week honors went to Bryan Ortega (Paramount, Calif.), sophomore midfielder from Cerritos College who had a pair of goals, including a game-winner, and Herkimer College freshman defender Kayla Alsheimer (Deerfield, N.Y.), who scored one goal and dished out two assists while anchoring a back line that had one shutout and allowed just one goal total on the week.
Each Tuesday during the college regular season, United Soccer Coaches selects a men’s and women’s Player of the Week for NCAA Divisions I, II, and III and Junior College competition based on nominations from schools and conferences. Nominations are due every Tuesday by 10 a.m. CT to be considered.