MEN'S SOCCER SWEEPS BIG WEST WEEKLY AWARDS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After a historic opening weekend in league play, the Sacramento State soccer team swept the Big West Conference's weekly awards as forward Isaac Ikyurav took home offensive player of the week and goalkeeper Bryan Oliver claimed defensive player of the week honors.
The Hornets, which went 2-0 on the road at UC Irvine and CSU Northridge in their first Big West Conference games in program history, are the only two-win team in the league after the opening weekend of conference play.
Sacramento State was 0-3 on the road before heading south last weekend where Ikyurav and Oliver had a lot to do with the reversing the Hornets' road woes.
Ikyurav,a junior forward, notched an unassisted goal in the 84th minute to break a 1-1 tie and lead the Hornets to a 2-1 triumph against UC Irvine on Friday. The Benue, Nigeria, native sprinted past a defender into the box to create a one-on-one situation with the keeper and finished to the far post for his second game-winning goal in as many contests.
On Sunday, Ikyurav once again utilized his speed to create a scoring opportunity at CSU Northridge, but this time for a teammate. In the 104th minute, Ikyurav beat his defender and into the box, and when two other defenders collapsed on him, he found Chris Sandoval with a short flick. Ikyurav collected the game-winning assist when Sandoval buried a shot past the Matador goalkeeper for the 1-0 victory.
While Ikyurav shined in the attacking half, Oliver locked down the defensive half.
Oliver, a senior goalkeeper from Rocklin, played every minute in goal for the Hornets in their two wins over the weekend.
The netminder succeeded despite heavy pressure from UC Irvine and CSU Northridge. In a 2-1 win at UCI, Oliver faced 15 shots and made seven saves. Two of those stops came in the final three minutes as the Hornets held on to win their first Big West Conference game.
Oliver again withstood a heavy attack against CSUN two days later in a 1-0 double overtime shutout. He earned his third clean sheet of the season, making four saves against the Matadors while facing 24 shots.
For the season, Oliver sports a 1.27 goals against average with 50 saves in nine starts for the Hornets. He is 5-3-1 as the starting keeper this year.