Goalkeeper of the Week: Erin Smith, Abilene Christian – Jr. – Wichita Falls, TexasSmith faced 18 shots and made six saves over the opening weekend of play, helping the Wildcats to their first 2-0 start since 2013, their first year in Division I. She made four of those saves in the second half of a 2-1 win over UTEP, setting up her team for a late comeback with two goals in the final 20 minutes of play. Offensive Player of the Week: Avery Cortez, Houston Baptist – Jr. – Houston, TexasCortez led the Huskies to a season-opening 5-0 win over Prairie View A&M, recording the program’s first hat trick against a Division I program since Sept. 5, 2007 versus Texas Southern. After opening the scoring with a successful spot kick in the 31st minute, she assisted on Noor Abukish’s goal just four minutes later. Her seven points marked the most by a HBU student-athlete since that 2007 win over Texas Southern. Houston Baptist (1-0-0) begins a stretch of four road matches at North Texas at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by another 7 p.m. start at Texas State on Sunday. Abilene Christian (2-0-0) hosts Southwest (N.M.) at 7 p.m. Friday before traveling to Texas A&M for a 6 p.m. match on Sunday. Cortez extended the lead to three in the 57th minute and capped off the victory with a 76th minute goal. Her three goals lead the conference through the first week of play and match her 2018 goal total. Honorable Mention: Natalie Jones, Abilene Christian; Esther Okoronkwo, Lamar; Anna Watson, McNeese. Defensive Player of the Week: Megan Rickert, Houston Baptist – R-Jr. – Round Rock, TexasRickert helped anchor a back line that prevented Prairie View A&M from generating quality chances on offense. The Panthers recorded seven shots in the match and just four on frame. The redshirt junior was on the pitch for all 90 minutes of the contest. Week Two Notes (PDF)FRISCO, Texas – Houston Baptist and Abilene Christian earned the first weekly awards of the 2019 season, the league announced Tuesday. Avery Cortez earned Offensive Player of the Week, while fellow Huskie Megan Rickert was named Defensive Player of the Week. Erin Smith of the Wildcats earned the week’s goalkeeper accolade. Southland Players of the Week are presented by MidSouth Bank. Honorable Mention: Ashtyn Franks, Houston Baptist; Roosa Hurmerinta, Nicholls. Honorable Mention: Ana Campa, UIW; Karina Gonzalez, Nicholls; Sophia Manibo, Lamar; Keely Morrow, McNeese. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.
1 Radamel Falcao Radamel Falcao has been told he will not be coming back to Manchester United next season.United won a hotly-contested race to sign the Colombia striker on loan from Monaco last summer, but he has scored just four goals in 29 appearances for Louis van Gaal’s side this season.United had the chance to sign the 29-year-old on a permanent basis for £43.2million, but it is understood the club have told Falcao they will not exercise that option.Falcao was regarded as one of the best strikers in the world after successful spells at Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco, but he has looked anything but a world-class forward since moving to Old Trafford.Speaking after United’s final day stalemate with Hull City, in which the Dutchman was hugely complimentary of the Tigers’ fans, van Gaal remained coy on the future of the Colombian striker.Van Gaal said: “I don’t say if Falcao will go today. Today is about the game and not the decisions we have made. You will hear it at the proper time and when Manchester United want.”