October 18, 2011

Heffner named OVC Defensive Player of the Week

Junior defender joins Reed as weekly OVC honorees

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Leigh Heffner became the second member of Tennessee Tech’s back line to be honored by the Ohio Valley Conference this season as she was named the league’s Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday.

She shared the award with SIU Edwardsville's Devon Thomas.

Heffner, an All-OVC Second Team selection a season ago, scored her first career-goal in overtime of Sunday’s Senior Day game against Austin Peay, lifting the Golden Eagles to 1-0 victory. She scored on a header off a well-placed Sarah Gawthrop corner kick in the 98th minute, giving Tech a crucial victory in its hunt to qualify for the OVC Tournament.

“Her first career goal came at a pivotal point in our season,” said head coach Daniel Brizard. “Leigh has been a mainstay in the back for our team and has led by the example she has set through her hard work on and off the field. It’s fantastic that she’s been recognized for her performance in Sunday’s game.”

Heffner played all 188 minutes of Tech’s matches against Austin Peay and Murray State over the weekend and helped anchor a Golden Eagle back line that shut out the Governors on Sunday, the team’s second shutout of the season. Rarely receiving a break, she has played almost 1,500 minutes this season.

Heffner is no stranger to receiving honors for her play on the defensive side of the ball — she was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week during her sophomore season and was the team’s Defensive MVP. A native of Arvada, Colo., she was Faith Christian’s defensive player of the year for three consecutive years during her high school career.

Heffner and her teammates enjoy a pair of byes this weekend before traveling to Tennessee-Martin on Oct. 28 and Southeast Missouri on Oct. 30 to close out the regular season.