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Weekly awards, Kroenke, Arsenal, Burpo, Pickens, Dynamite, more

October 15, 2009 | 12:18 pm No comments
By George Tanner

Jeff Nelson of the Colorado School of Mines’ men’s soccer team was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference offensive player of the week.

Nelson, a senior forward from Laramie, scored four goals and tallied two assists to help Mines to a pair of victories last weekend. In Mines’ 4-3 win at CSU-Pueblo on Friday, Nelson scored a pair of goals, including the winner, and added an assist. He scored the winner and added two more goals and an assist in the Orediggers’ 7-0 win at home against Colorado Christian on Sunday.

This season, Nelson has scored a team-leading eight goals and has tallied three assists. He tied for first in the RMAC in game-winning goals (three), ranks second in points (19), is tied for second in goals and ranks fourth in points per game (1.36) and goals per game (0.57).

The 14th-ranked Orediggers (10-1-3, 6-1-1 RMAC) will host No. 6 Fort Lewis College at 3:30 p.m. Friday, and Mesa State College at noon Sunday. Both games will be played at the Colorado School of Mines Soccer Stadium.

MORE AWARDS FOR MINES: Orediggers striker Kayla Mitchell was named the RMAC offensive player of the week for the second consecutive week, the third time this season and the sixth time in her career. Mitchell, a senior forward from Ontario, Ore., scored in Mines’ 1-0 win at Colorado Christian on Friday then recorded her third hat trick in four games and her fourth hat trick of the season in a 4-0 win Sunday at Nebraska-Kearney. Mitchell has seven career hat tricks. She leads the RMAC in goals (20), points (45) and winning goals (10), is tied for first in goals per game (1.33) and points per game (3.00) and is tied for fifth in assists (5). In Division II, Mitchell is tied for fourth in goals per game and ranks seventh in points per game. She has scored a goal in 11 of 15 games this season and has multiple goals in five games.

MPSF HONORS AIR FORCE SENIOR: Josh Rhynard has been named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation co-Player of the Week after registering two goals and one assist in the Falcons’ 6-3 win over Missouri-Kansas City on Monday. Rhynard shared the award with UNLV junior forward Stephen Sifuentes, who scored two unassisted goals in a 4-2 home win over Houston Baptist on Sunday. Rhynard’s goals came in the 29th and 48th minutes, the third and fifth goals for Air Force. His assist came on Kyle Moses’ winning goal in the ninth minute. Rhynard took over the team’s scoring lead with his performance. He now has three goals and three assists.

SCAC HONORS: Colorado College’s Jordan Reese was named Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference offensive player of the week for his career-best eight-point effort in Saturday’s 4-0 homecoming victory over Austin College. Reese scored the Tigers’ first two goals, including what proved to be the sixth winning goal of his career, 12:58 into the first half. he sent a direct kick into the top left corner from 20 yards out. He completed the first multi-goal game of his career a little more than 15 minutes later, when he converted off a pass from senior midfielder Ben Hancock. Reese went on to record the fourth two-assist game of his career, setting up goals by Brendan Douglas and Matt Fechter as CC tied its season high for goals in a game. Reese, who took over the team scoring lead with 15 points, ranks second in the SCAC with seven assists.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY CONTRAST: The Colorado College women are 6-1 on Fridays this season but only 2-4-1 on Sunday. This week, the Tigers host East Carolina on Friday and Marshall on Sunday. Both Conference USA matches start at 2 p.m.

MILESTONE FOR MOUNTAIN LIONS: The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs notched a historic first this week: Three athletes in different sports were honored as players of the week by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. UCCS has had players from two sports named receive the honors in the same week several times, but never three. That’s now happened as volleyball player Cindy Bathelt and soccer players Adam Liszewski and Kayla Millar were recognized by the league. Liszewsk, a junior from Mesa, Ariz., has compiled 186 consecutive scoreless minutes in goal for UCCS. His back-to-back shutouts against Colorado Christian and CSU-Pueblo led UCCS to its first two-game winning streak of the season. For the season, Liszewski has three shutouts, a 1.93 goals-against average and a 69.2 save percentage. He is the first UCCS men’s soccer player to be named player of the week since Bryan Stoeber in 2007. The last Mountain Lion to be named defensive player of the week was Isaac Kostro on Oct. 3, 2006. Millar, playing in relief of goalkeeper Ashley Armstrong, recorded her second shutout of the season after notching seven saves against New Mexico Highlands in a 1-0 win.

KROENKE TAKING OVER AT ARSENAL: ESPN is reporting that Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke has increased his stake in Arsenal again, edging closer to a full takeover of the club. The Gunners announced on Thursday that Kroenke has spent $1.2 million buying 90 shares to increase his holding from 28.7 percent to 28.9 percent, just short of the threshold of 29.9 percent that would trigger a mandatory offer for the remaining shares. Read the full story here.

GIBBS TO RETURN: Former Rocky Mountain News writer Pat Rooney reports on MLSnet.com that Rapids defender Cory Gibbs is scheduled to return to the lineup on Saturday at Dallas. Gibbs suffered a torn quadriceps muscle on Aug. 30, but he received a measure of relief when an exam revealed the injury was a second-degree tear, rather than a more serious third-degree tear. Read Rooney’s full story here.

PICKENS TO RETURN? Rooney also writes that goalkeeper Matt Pickens has recovered from his strained knee and could return Saturday, putting Rapids coach Gary Smith in the position of having to choose between Pickens and Preston Burpo. Read Rooney’s goalkeeping story here.

CUE THE AUDIO: Here is the American Soccer Minute’s 60-second look at week 31 in Major League Soccer. Click on this link to listen to the audio file.

DYNAMITE PRESEASON SCHEDULE: The Denver Dynamite announced its 2009 preseason schedule, which features three games at the Westridge Recreation Center in Highlands Ranch, the official training center of the team. Denver’s first preseason game at 7 p.m. Saturday, the second annual Dynamite Yellow & Blue intersquad match. On Oct. 24, the match against Edwards Freedom FC will be marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new turf at the Westridge Recreagtion Center. The third game, on Nov. 1, will see will see the beginning of an I-25 rivalry with PASL-Pro provisional team the Fort Collins Fury. Admission to all games will be free, thanks to the Westridge Recreation Center and Highlands Ranch Community Association. The Westridge Recreation Center is at 9650 S. Foothills Canyon Blvd. in Highlands Ranch.

DYNAMITE SIGNINGS: The Dynamite announced the signing of five players as it continues to fill out its 25-man roster for the 2009-10 Professional Arena Soccer League season, which kicks off Nov. 14, when the San Diego Sockers visit Denver. Forward Aaron King joins Denver after a spending a season with the United Soccer League First Division Miami FC. King has also played for the Charleston Battery, Carolina Railhawks and the Colorado Rapids (MLS). The Dynamite also signed former Colorado Lightning midfielder Roby Monroe; Travis Carey, who trained with the Dynamite last year; midfielder Justin Stones; and goalkeeper Brett O’Connor.

DIVISION II REGIONAL WOMEN’S RANKINGS: Here are the Central Region rankings, according to the NCAA:
1. Metro State
2. Minnesota State-Mankato
3. Colorado School of Mines
4. Fort Lewis
5. Regis
6. Winona State
7. Minnesota Duluth
8. Mesa State
9. Colorado Christian
10. St. Cloud State

DIVISION II REGIONAL MEN’S RANKINGS: Here are the Central Region rankings, according to the NCAA:
Central Region Rankings
1. Fort Lewis
2. Colorado School of Mines
3. Metro State
4. Regis

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