Palacios, Bzeih Earn Anteater Sweep Of Women's Soccer Awards
Kiana Palacios contributed two game-winning goals and Reema Bzeih recorded three assists as UC Irvine enjoyed an unbeaten week.
Palacios Nets Pair Of Game-Winning Goals
UC Irvine senior forward Kiana Palacios (Lake Forest, Calif./Mission Viejo HS) collected the deciding goal in two victories to earn Big West Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week accolades.
The Anteaters posted a 2-0-1 record for the week as Palacios totaled seven points on three goals and an assist. She also recorded 11 shots, five on frame.
Palacios started the week with a two-goal performance in a 3-0 victory over Portland. She struck first in the 21st minute with a magnificent strike from 18 yards out inside the top left corner. The Mexican National Team member later salted the game away with an insurance goal on a header in the 78th minute.
The two goals gave Palacios 20 for her career, making her just the 12th player in program history to accomplish the feat.
After taking a match-high five shots in a scoreless draw with Penn on Friday, Palacios closed out the week with a goal and an assist in a 3-0 blanking of Toledo.
She wasted no time putting the Rockets on notice with a goal at the two-minute mark. Palacios assisted in the 21st minute on a goal that volleyed off the post and in for a 2-0 edge.
The two-game winning goals increased her career total to eight. The seven points upped her all-time mark to 52 – the 12th player in UCI history to reach that benchmark.
Others nominated: Jessica Johnson (Cal Poly); Atlanta Primus (Cal State Fullerton); Cynthia Sanchez (CSUN); Ayanna Robles (Long Beach State); Mahlah Catline (UC Davis); Amanda Roy (UC Riverside)
Bzeih Provides Two-Way Production
UC Irvine junior Reema Bzeih (Irvine, Calif./UCLA) collected three assists and contributed to a stingy defense as the Big West Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week.
Bzeih served as a cornerstone of a stout ‘Eater defensive unit that shutout Portland (3-0), Penn (0-0) and Toledo (3-0) over a seven-day span. UCI has not allowed a goal in four straight games and opponents have gone 420 consecutive minutes without hitting paydirt. UCI’s three foes last week managed a combined total of just 13 shots.
Offensively, Bzeih also did her part to contribute to victory. She had an assist against Portland off of a corner kick. Against the Rockets, she registered her second career two-assist game. UCI’s first goal was keyed by a Bzeih cross, the game-winning assist, and her second helper came on the second goal.
She now has eight career assists.
Others nominated: Sophia Brown (Cal Poly); Nano Oronoz (Cal State Fullerton); Jovani McCaskill (CSUN); Kaitlin Fregulia (Long Beach State); Mandy McKeegan (UC Davis); Amanda Roy (UC Riverside); Maddie Julian (UC Santa Barbara)