GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – SUNYIT earned 4 NEAC Student-Athlete of the Week selections on Monday, as each winner received his or her award for at least the second time this season.
Diego Montaleza (New York, N.Y. / MLK) won the Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week award for the third time in 2013 after yet another stellar week. Montaleza, a senior SUNYIT, had two goals on the week, including a clutch game winner. After notching a goal in a 6-0 nonconference win over Bard College on Tuesday, the forward would tally the lone goal in a 1-0 conference win over Morrisville State College Saturday after blasting home a score on a free kick. The win not only clinched the regular season championship for the Wildcats, but also gave Montaleza the new single-season SUNYIT record for goals in a season with 11. He is also tied for the conference lead in goals, while solely leading the NEAC in points (28) and being tied for second in assists (6).
For the second time this year, Montaleza was joined by teammate and goalkeeper Malick Faye (Bronx, N.Y. / MLK) on the Student-Athlete of the Week list, as the senior earned his second award as the Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week.
The senior goalkeeper posted two shutouts on the week and totaled 10 saves to help the Wildcats secure the top seed in the upcoming NEAC Championship Tournament. After opening the week with a four-save shutout during a 6-0 nonconference win over Bard College Tuesday, Faye would make six stops to blank the playoff-bound and defending champion Morrisville State College Mustangs and give the Wildcats a 1-0 win Saturday that clinched the NEAC regular season title for SUNYIT with a 7-1 record in conference play. Faye, who came into the week ranked third nationally in save percentage, currently leads the conference in that category (.932) to go along with goals against (5), goals-against average (0.31), shutouts (9) and wins (12), while also being fifth in total saves (68).
The goalkeeping at SUNYIT was sound across the board last week, as SUNYIT Women's Soccer keeper Margaret Werenczak (Mohawk, N.Y. / Mohawk) earned her second honor of the year as NEAC Women's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week.
The senior goalkeeper tallied a pair of shutouts while totaling eight saves to lead the Wildcats to a 2-0 week. Werenczak opened the week with a four-save shutout during a 5-0 nonconference win over Albany Pharmacy on Thursday, before posting another four-save blanking in a 5-0 conference win over Morrisville State College that propelled the Wildcats to this weekend's NEAC Championship Tournament as the sixth and final seed.
In keeping with the theme of defense, SUNYIT's final award-winner on Monday was Deasia Goodson (Frankfort, N.Y. / Frankfort). The sophomore earned her second honor as NEAC Women's Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week for her dominance at the net.
The middle hitter averaged more than a block per set to guide the Wildcats to a 3-1 week, tallying 12 blocks in 11 sets (1.09 b/set) while leading SUNYIT to three sweeps on the week. Goodson registered six solo blocks and eight blocks total during the New Jersey City University quad tournament this past weekend, including four solo blocks that helped make quick work of Immaculata University during the 3-0 win. Her play at the net led to SUNYIT not dropping a set during the entire tournament, while she also added some offense on the week with 17 kills and a hitting percentage of .333 (17-3-42), helping her raise her conference-best average to .341 on the season. She also leads the NEAC in total blocks (84) and blocks per set (0.86) for SUNYIT, which has now won a program-best 28 matches and sit at 28-4 overall.
*Special thanks to Eugenio Mercurio at neacsports.com for reporting contributing to this release