With last week’s 3-0 victory against Utah, the Horned Frogs clinched a conference tournament spot and a couple of team honors.Sophomore forward Lizzy Karoly was named the Mountain West Conference co-offensive player of the week for her two-goal performance against Utah. Karoly also earned a place on the Soccer America team of the week for the second time this season.
Karoly said the credit she received also belongs to her teammates.
“Being recognized like this is so great, because it finally shows that the hard work of the whole team is paying off,” Karoly said.
Freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Walters became the first player in team history to be placed on the Soccer Buzz Elite team of the week. She was also named the Mountain West Conference defensive player of the week.
Against Utah, Walters made 10 saves and kept the Utes off the scoreboard.
Walters said the recognition she received this week made her set higher goals for herself.
Head coach Dan Abdalla also said Walters and Karoly are not the only players who should receive credit.
“These two definitely deserve the recognition they got, but we could’ve had 13 players who also got it,” Abdalla said. “That was nice to have a couple of special performances and see other players do some exceptional things as well.”
With a Mountain West Conference tournament berth coming from the victory against Utah, Abdalla said the team must also focus on beating San Diego State on the road, in the last game of the regular season Friday. Last season the team fell short of reaching the postseason.
We have to play to win this week, at the same we have to get ready for next week, as well as the tournament, Abdalla said.
“It’s a balance between those two things this weekend,” he said.
Abdalla said the toughest challenge the Aztecs will bring is their defense.
“They’re one of the toughest defensive teams in the nation,” Abdalla said. “They’re tough as nails.”
In order to get past them, Abdalla said the team must be willing to be creative, take chances and stay focused on defense as well.
“We must make sure we maintain focus, because they also have some individuals offensively who are very good,” Abdalla said.
The team held Wednesday’s practice
in Halloween tradition when all the players and coaches were dressed in costumes. Some outfits included a banana, Tina Turner and the Grim Reaper.
“As long as we can practice and get a good session in, we like to have a little fun during this part of the season,” Abdalla said.