Men’s Soccer: Cats sweep weekly conference awards

Alex Putterman, Assistant Sports Editor

No. 7 Northwestern (7-1, 1-0 Big Ten) swept Big Ten Player of the Week awards this week, the conference announced Monday.

Freshman Brandon Medina won Offensive Player of the Week and junior Tyler Miller grabbed Defensive Player of the Week after the Wildcats defeated Michigan 2-0 on Saturday to begin conference play.

Medina notched a goal and an assist against the Wolverines, continuing an excellent debut season. The Chicago native has been a breakout star for the Cats, already tallying three goals and five assists, both second on the team behind sophomore Joey Calistri.

Miller, NU’s goalkeeper, made four saves to hold Michigan scoreless for his sixth shutout of the season and 25th at NU, second best in school history. The Defensive Player of the Year accolade was Miller’s second in 2013 and fifth of his career.

The Cats have dominated conference awards all season. Medina’s honor, his first, marked the fourth straight week an NU athlete has been named the Big Ten’s top offensive player. Calistri earned the distinction on Sep. 9 and 16, and senior Chris Ritter shared it with Penn State’s Mark Wadid on Sep. 23. Miller previously won Defensive Player of the Week on Sep. 23.

Though the Cats won at least a share of both awards last week, Monday was the first time since Oct. 15, 2012, NU has swept them outright. No other Big Ten team has won more than two weekly Big Ten honors this season.

The recognition comes in response to a historically hot start. The Cats’ current seven-game winning streak is the longest in program history, and the team has not begun a season 7-1 since 2008, when it started 11-0-2 on the way to the NCAA quarterfinals.

— Alex Putterman