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Finley Continues Strong Form
Takes TopDrawerSoccer honors for second time in October

PDL Feature

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For the second time in a month, Reading United standout Ryan Finley claimed top national honors as the Notre Dame senior was named TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Men’s Player of the Week, leading a large contingent of current and former PDL standouts who were honored for their performances this past week.

Finley, who leads the Fighting Irish with 37 points, has scored 17 goals in 17 games to cement his position as one of the top MLS prospects in college soccer. This past week, Finley scored twice as Notre Dame defeated Marquette 3-1 Wednesday night, then scored an 88th-minute equalizer in the return fixture between the two teams on Saturday night in Wisconsin. The two performances also earned Finley the Big East’s Offensive Player of the Week award, the third time he had taken the honor this season.

Having also previously played for the Central Jersey Spartans in the PDL, Finley transferred to Notre Dame from Duke prior to his junior season in 2011. After scoring seven goals a season ago, he is tied for second in the nation in goals, tied for third in points, and is a leading contender for the MAC Hermann Trophy.

Finley was joined on the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week by Portland Timbers U-23s standout Erik Hurtado, who scored a hat trick for Santa Clara in a 3-1 victory against Gonzaga. Hurtado scored six goals for the Timbers U-23s this past summer, and now has 14 goals in 15 games for the Broncos this summer.

The Real Colorado Foxes’ Kyle Venter was also named after helping New Mexico take a pair of shutout victories on the road. Venter scored the game-winning goal for the Lobos in their 1-0 win against at San Jose State, and the side’s 3-0 victory against Seattle sealed the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s regular-season championship with a game to spare.

Michigan Bucks defender Chad Barson earned his place on the TDS Team of the Week after helping Akron earn a pair of shutout victories that clinched the Zips their eighth consecutive Mid-American Conference regular-season championship. Barson scored his second goal of the season in a 4-0 win against Hartwick on Saturday night.

The Long Island Rough Riders’ Jimmy Nealis was also honored, helping Georgetown clinch a share of the Big East Blue Division title. Nealis, who helped Long Island to the 2011 Eastern Conference title, had a pair of assists as the Hoyas took a pair of wins against Seton Hall on Wednesday and Saturday night.

Fredericksburg Hotspur midfielder Mario Herrera Merez rounded out the honorees, leading Virginia Commonwealth to a pair of victories in the Atlantic 10, scoring one goal and adding three assists as the Rams defeated Xavier, 4-1, and Dayton, 3-2.

Elsewhere, while Finley took the Big East’s Offensive Player of the Week award, the Long Island Rough Riders’ Tim Parker took the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week award after helping St. John’s shut out Syracuse on Friday night.

2012 PDL All-League selection Deshorn Brown claimed Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week honors after the Reading United standout scored five goals and an assist in a pair of victories for Central Florida. Brown, who finished tied for the PDL lead with 13 goals this summer, had a hat trick in the Knights’ 4-3 double-overtime victory against Memphis, assisting on the game-winning goal. He then added another pair of strikes in the Knights’ 4-3 loss to UAB, giving him 13 goals in 15 games this fall.

The Carolina Dynamo’s Robbie Lovejoy claimed his second ACC Player of the Week award in three weeks as he led the Tar Heels to a 2-0 victory against their rival N.C. State on Friday night. Lovejoy scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 64th minute before providing the assist on Danny Garcia’s insurance goal.

Former Washington Crossfire standout Adam Jahn took Pac-12 Player of the Week honors after scoring the overtime game-winner for Stanford in their 1-0 win against UC Santa Barbara. Jahn has scored four goals in the past five games for the Cardinal, and is second in the conference in both goals (10) and points (20).

The Baltimore Bohemians’ Pete Caringi earned America East Player of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks after recording 10 points in two games for UMBC. Caringi had four goals in the Retrievers’ 7-1 win against Hartford, helping them claim the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament that begins this week.

Chicago Fire PDL striker Taylor Morgan claimed the Colonial Athletic Association’s Offensive Player of the Week award after scoring twice for George Mason in a 1-0-1 week that clinched their place in the CAA Tournament. Morgan leads the CAA with 13 goals this season, having scored three in six games for the Fire this summer.

Portland Timbers U-23s midfielder Andrew Ribeiro claimed the Missouri Valley Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week honor as Creighton continued its remarkable conference shutout streak with a 1-0 victory against Missouri State. The Bluejays have not conceded a goal in conference play since 2011, a run of 1,272 minutes, while also recording shutouts in seven of their last eight outings overall.

Ribeiro was joined by former Des Moines Menace forward Michael Thaden, who took the MVC’s Offensive Player of the Week award after recording a goal and assist in Drake’s 2-2 draw against Evansville.

Kansas City Brass midfielder Jordan Rideout was named the Summitt League’s Offensive Player of the Week after scoring both of UMKC’s goals in an overtime victory against IUPUI. Rideout’s game-winner with less than two minutes to play in the second overtime guaranteed the Kangaroos at least the second seed in the conference tournament, keeping them in a tie for first place in the regular-season standings. 

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