Cleaveland and Russo Named WAC Players of the Week


Posted Sep 6, 2005 15:51:09
Cleaveland and Russo Named WAC Players of the Week

Louisiana Tech forward Emily Cleaveland and defender Savanna Russo were named the Western Athletic Conference women's soccer offensive and defensive Players of the Week for their performances against Robert Morris and Centenary last week, respectively.

Cleaveland, a freshman from The Woodlands, Texas, totaled five points for the week with a goal and two assists in the 7-0 win over Robert Morris last Friday and an assist in a 2-0 win over Centenary on Sunday, which pushed Tech's record to 3-1.

As a major contributor of a the Lady Techsters' offense, which ranks first in the WAC in shots, points, goals and assists, Cleaveland leads Tech and is tied for third in the WAC with 11 shots on the season, while her seven points have her tied for first in the conference in the total points category.

"I can't say enough about how well Emily is playing right now," Tech head coach Jen Soileau said. "She's very fit and works hard all the time. She's so versatile and can work with balls over the top or beat defenders with the ball at her feet. She's an overall threat with good speed, and she continues to improve."

On defense, Tech ranks first in the WAC in goals allowed and shutouts, as Russo, a freshman from Albuquerque, N.M., has anchored a Lady Techster defense that has not given up a goal in nearly 300 minutes of play.

Russo's tough play last week made it an easy game for Tech's goal keeper Chrissy Haisler, as the Lady Techsters allowed Robert Morris no shots in the win. Centenary managed nine shots but only three shots on goal against Russo and Co.

"First of all, our entire defense has played great," Soileau said. "But we were real excited when Savanna signed with us, and she has done exactly what we brought her here to do. She is our defensive anchor and has really stepped up to the challenge of collegiate soccer. She wins balls in the air, contains players well, and makes good decisions with the ball. I'm very happy with her play right now."

The Lady Techsters' match against Southeastern, La. has been postponed, due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Their next match will be Friday at Belhaven College at 3 p.m.