Sheldon, Escalante Record Firsts To Capture Men's Soccer Weekly Honors
UC Davis sophomore Matt Sheldon netted his first two goals of 2012 and Cal State Fullerton junior Bryan Escalante logged his first career shutout as the duo garnered Big West Men's Soccer Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors, respectively.
Sheldon Helps UC Davis Remain On Top Of Big West North Division
Sophomore Matt Sheldon (Portland, Ore./Lincoln HS) brought UC Davis one step closer to a North Division title with two crucial goals against UC Santa Barbara, earning him Big West Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week recognition.
The forward came in off the bench and paid immediate dividends. He notched his first goal of the season with just three seconds before the halftime buzzer, latching onto a pass from Ramon Martin del Campo and burying a shot in the lower left corner of the goal.
Sheldon delivered the golden goal in the first overtime of the eventual 2-1 road victory. After a long throw in from Ryan Gross, Sheldon had his first shot deflected away but he pounced on the rebound and slotted home a second attempt between two Gaucho defenders.
The win, which improved the Aggies to 8-5-4 overall and 6-2-0 in the Big West, gave the Aggies 18 points and a two-point lead on second place Sacramento State in the North Division. UCD won at Harder Stadium for the first time since 2008 and swept the Gauchos in a season series for the first time in program history.
Others nominated: Mackenzie Pridham (Cal Poly); Gerzon Blanco (Cal State Fullerton); Edwin Rivas (Cal State Northridge); Gabe Silveira (Sacramento State)
Escalante Notches First Career Shutout In Key Titan Victory
Bryan Escalante (Placentia, Calif./Valencia HS) delivered his first career shutout and three critical points to the Cal State Fullerton cause, resulting in Big West Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week honors for the junior goalkeeper.
Escalante helped his side blank UC Irvine, 1-0, in a game that solidified Cal State Fullerton's hold on second place in the Big West South Division. The top two teams from that division advance to next week's Big West Tournament.
The netminder faced 15 UCI shots and made a season-high six saves – one off of his career high - as he extended his winning streak to three straight games. Fullerton has now won three straight games for the second time this season.
Others nominated: Joe Franco (Cal State Northridge); Omar Zeenni (UC Davis)