Photo courtesy of Dayton Athletics
A pair of players in the Atlantic 10, including PDL Defender of the Year Alhassan Abubakar, headline the list of PDL talents who earned weekly honors.
Dayton center back Abubakar, who excelled with the Michigan Bucks during the 2016 PDL campaign, was named Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week, while Saint Louis forward Grant Owens earned Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Week honors. Owens, a sophomore, scored three goals and provided two assists in seven games for Kokomo Mantis FC during the summer.
Abubakar, ranked third in the final edition of the 2016 PDL Top Prospects list, helped Dayton record its first two wins of the 2016 college campaign. He led the back line against Saint Francis, helping the program earn a 3-0 win on Friday. He then scored a goal in the Flyers’ 2-1 victory against Belmont on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Evergreen FC standout goalkeeper Arie Ammann has started the 2016 college season off well for Penn State, earning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after helping the Nittany Lions to a pair of wins against James Madison and Oakland.
PDL talents swept the Conference USA weekly honors, as UNC Charlotte forward Marco Sunol-Rojas and defender Callum Montgomery were named Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively. Sunol-Rojas appeared for the Carolina Dynamo during the summer, while Montgomery was an important part of Victoria Highlanders FC’s success in 2016. The defender played in 12 matches, scoring one goal while being named to the PDL Team of the Week once.
Russell Cicerone continues to shine in 2016, earning Mid-American Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Week honors after scoring two goals and providing two assists over the course of two wins for Buffalo*. Cicerone, who earned PDL Championship MVP honors with the Bucks, has six goals to start the college campaign.
Forward Brian Wright, who scored two goals and provided one assist for Burlingame Dragons FC during the recent PDL regular season, enjoyed a spectacular week with Vermont and earned America East Player of the Week honors*. The senior scored three goals and provided five assists in three wins for the Catamounts.
In Canada, Calgary Foothills FC standout forward Ajeej Sarkaria, who was voted to the 2016 PDL All-Playoffs Team – Fans’ Choice, earned Male First Star honors in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association.
*This post has been updated.