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September 26, 2013

Horizon League honors five CSU athletes

Viking athletes continue to display excellence across the board

By John Cuturic

After a throw in, Cleveland State University freshman Sarah Kaiser took the soccer ball and started to dribble it up. She had free space ahead of her, but a defender closing fast. So from about 30 yards out, Kaiser drilled a shot at the goal.

The ball flew in high, sailing over a surprised goalie’s hands. It swished to a stop in the back left corner of the net.

Kaiser scored the first goal of her college career there, against the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She put the Vikings up 2-0, the final score of the game.
And then Kaiser scored the day after that, when the Vikings played Robert Morris University. And then she won the offensive player of the week award from the Horizon League.

But she wasn’t the only one. Viking sports teams did very well for themselves last week, with five Cleveland State University athletes winning weekly honors from the Horizon League.

From the Vikings women’s soccer team, Kaiser won the offensive player of the week award. Goalkeeper Sarah Wood won defensive player of the week.
Kaiser said it felt crazy to finally get a goal, and then to get the player of the week award as a freshman.

“We had a rough start to the season, but we’re getting better now,” Kaiser said. “We should do well heading into conference play.”

Wood won the defensive player of the week award after a weekend when she and the Viking defense shut out two teams in a row, beating UMass Lowell and Robert Morris.
Wood, coming back from an injury that kept her out of competition last season, leads the Horizon League in saves so far. She had 59 at the beginning of the week, and made two more in the Vikings’ win against Madonna University last Wednesday.

Wood said that she felt great over the weekend.

“This year, we’ve been working hard as a group,” Wood said. “We’re getting better every day.”

The women’s soccer team started the season 0-4, but with the last two weeks’ games, including victories against Madonna and the University of Akron last week, they’ve won four of their last five. They also tied with Ohio University 0-0 over the weekend.
They’ll play next with a Horizon League opponent, the University of Detroit Mercy, this Saturday.

The Cleveland State women’s volleyball team also took home the Horizon League’s offensive and defensive player of the week awards. Nikki Holmes won defensive player of the week, and Grace Kauth won offensive player of the week. The Viking volleyball team swept the Cincinnati Invitational last weekend, only losing one set all tournament.
Holmes won defensive player of the week. She got 20 digs in the team’s first match against Cincinnati University, and posted 55 overall during the tournament. Holmes made the all-tournament team.

She said she didn’t expect the award, but it felt good to win it. She said that things are going well for the team this season.

“Our team chemistry is good this year,” Holmes said.

Kauth won offensive player of the week, and was the MVP at the Cincinnati Invitational. She put up 39 points for the Vikings that weekend.

“It feels really good,” Kauth said. “It’s nice to know that my work is paying off, but I couldn’t do it without the team’s help.”

The volleyball team beat Campbell University and James Madison University last weekend at the James Madison Invitational, losing to the Wake Forest University team.They will play next against Youngstown State University, a Horizon League school, on Friday.

Micaela Cronin, a senior from the women’s golf team, also won player of the week after breaking school records at the Chicago State University Cougar Classic. Cronin broke Cleveland State’s record for two rounds, shooting a combined 146. With a 72 in the final round, Cronin tied the lowest 18-hole round in the team’s history.

Cronin could not be reached for an interview. The women’s golf team will play next on October 7, when they go to the Mid-American Conference Preview.