After doing her part on the back line to help Linfield achieve its best start in program history and admittance into the Top 25, Lauren Pyrch (Jr., West Linn, Ore.) has been recognized as the Northwest Conference Women's Soccer Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week.
The honor, chosen by the league's sports information directors, was announced Monday, a day before the Wildcats were announced as the 20th-ranked program in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Pyrch led a defense that allowed just two goals and 14 shot attempts through three matches, all Linfield victories. The Wildcats defeated Pacific 4-2 in the NWC season opener before shutting out 11-time defending conference champion Puget Sound (1-0) and George Fox (5-0) on back-to-back days.
Linfield has surrendered the fewest goals (4) of any Northwest Conference program this season while also outpacing the league offensively (24). At 7-0 overall and 3-0 against conference foes, the ‘Cats are out to their best start in program history.
This is the first career student-athlete of the week award for Pyrch, in her second season as a full-time starter and first as team captain.
In a big shakeup of the latest NSCAA Top 25 released September 24, the Wildcats were ranked 20th, their highest ranking ever by the coaches association, while previously 12th-ranked Puget Sound tumbled out of the poll altogether.
This is not the first Top 25 inclusion for the ‘Cats, however. Linfield moved from No. 25 to No. 17 in the d3soccer.com poll this week. Last season, the Wildcats peaked at No. 25 by the NSCAA and at No. 21 by d3soccer.com.
NEXT: Linfield embarks on its longest road trip of the season, traveling to Whitworth and Whitman for a pair of noon matches on Saturday and Sunday.
Captains Linfield defense that has allowed just four goals
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128