UK Men's Soccer Sweeps Conference USA Players of the Week

By Jacob Most Oct. 20, 2014 -

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s soccer team swept the Conference USA Players of the Week awards on Monday.

Senior forward Justin Laird earned the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, while junior goalkeeper Callum Irving was named conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Laird earned the award after scoring in each Kentucky’s two wins last week, including the game-winner against ninth-ranked New Mexico – Kentucky’s third top-25 win of the season. Irving claimed Defensive Player of the Week accolades for posting two wins in net, including a clean sheet against the Lobos.

The Wildcats were ranked 24th in Monday’s poll, and Laird was named to that Website’s National Team of the Week.

Laird’s goal vs. New Mexico was an excellent one-time half-volley across goal from 10 yards that finished in the right upper-90. He also scored the opener in a 5-1 win over Evansville and also assisted another to holding midfielder Paul Sime.

Laird’s two goals last week took his team-leading goal total to five this season, and he has three assists on the year for 13 points, which is also the most on UK.

Laird’s winner vs. New Mexico was his second  game-winning goal of the year (vs. Xavier), which ranks tied for fourth in the league

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native is tied for third in the league in shots (38), and ranks fourth in C-USA in shots per game (2.71). His 13 points this year ranks sixth in the league

Irving lowered his Conference USA-leading goals-against average to 0.41 on the season in the shutout of New Mexico. He made three top-notch saves to preserve the clean sheet against the Lobos en route to his C-USA-best ninth shutout of the season.

The junior has led the Wildcats to an undefeated mark in C-USA play this season, allowing just one goal in league action.

Irving has captained UK to four-straight wins, and is unbeaten in his last six starts to take UK to the top of the C-USA standings.

Additionally, Irving has kept a clean sheet in each of Kentucky's three wins over top-25 teams in 2014.

He has allowed a total of six goals in 14 matches this season, and just one in UK's eight wins this year. The Vancouver native leads all C-USA goalies in goals-against average (0.41, 5th NCAA), shutouts (9, t-2nd NCAA) and save percentage (.878, t-5th NCAA).

Irving earned his third C-USA Player of the Week award of the season and of his career (Sept. 15, Sept. 22). He was tabbed the NSCAA National Player of the Week on Sept. 23. Laird’s honor was the first of his career.