By Dylan Vazzano, Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – For the third time this season, junior Karigan Owens takes home a weekly conference honor after being named the adidas® OVC Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday afternoon. The distinction marks the second defensive accolade as the La Grange, Ky. native was named the Defensive Player of the Week on Sep. 13, two weeks after receiving the conference's Offensive Player of the Week award on Aug. 30.
Owens played a pivotal role in helping aid a Tech defense that yielded only one goal in TTU's pair of conference matches, highlighted by a Sunday shutout win over Belmont that saw the Bruins attempt only one shot on-goal. Owens also came up huge in Friday's comeback victory over Jacksonville State, collecting a goal and an assist en route to a three-point showing. She played in all 180 minutes over the weekend.
"We're excited Karigan was selected for her honor this week. I thought she had a great overall weekend starting with her game on Friday against JSU, scoring a goal and getting an assist," Golden Eagle head coach Steve Springthorpe said." I thought she was solid in her defensive play against Belmont and we're excited for her award. At the same time we are happy the way our entire team played defensively in those two games. The credit goes to all of the players for the win Friday and the shutout victory Sunday."
Trailing 1-0 in the second half in Friday's conference-opener against JSU, Owens pulled the Golden Eagles even behind a goal off a corner-kick, a bending strike that found the back of the net in the 61st minute. Moments later, the 5-foot-9 junior helped put Tech up for good, assisting on TTU's go-ahead goal in the 64th minute. Owens blasted a free kick from nearly midfield that connected with Kalyn Pruett, who headed it in for the club's second goal in three minutes.
Owens' three-point effort marked the third time this season that she has notched at least three points in a match after a pair of four-point showings in wins over Mercer (Aug. 28) and Middle Tennessee (Sep. 9).
Owens leads the OVC with seven assists, four more than the next closest player, and coupled with her three goals, ranks third in the conference with 13 points.
TTU will look to make it three-straight victories to begin OVC action as the squad travels to Morehead State for its only tilt of the week on Sunday. First kick is slated for noon CT.
Others Nominated: Logan Harvey, Eastern Kentucky; Angela Black, Morehead State; Kassidy Rawdon, SIUE
Jordan Foster, F, 5-7, Jr., Fairborn, Ohio - Eastern Kentucky
Foster broke a scoreless tie by netting the game-winning goal in the 77th minute versus Belmont. It was the Colonels first ever win over the Bruins. She recorded an assist in the Colonels win over JSU to help the Colonels extend its win streak to seven straight. Foster has a team-leading four goals and two game-winning scores this year.
Emily Grahl, F, 5-2, Jr., Washington, Mo. - SIUE
Grahl helped SIUE go 2-0 to open up OVC play last week. She played a part in both goals versus Southeast Missouri. She scored the first goal of the match against the Redhawks in the 35th minute. She then assisted on an insurance goal just 28 seconds into the second half. For the week, Grahl took four shots, two of which were on goal.
Anna Hall, GK, 5-9, Jr., Ross, Ohio - Eastern Kentucky
Hall notched her fifth and sixth shutouts of the year against Belmont and Jacksonville State over the weekend. She made four saves at Belmont and added another save versus JSU. She has recorded six shutouts in the last seven games. She has not surrendered a goal in over 360 minutes of action.
Photo by Jim Dillon