Happy October, sports fans! The start of fall is here, and it will be Halloween before you know it.
It will also be championship season before you know it, as a lot of collegiate postseason tournaments begin in November (and extend into December). As we get closer to tournament time, last week in the Big South, we saw teams begin conference play (expect for football programs), which is crucial for tournament seeding. Specifically in Men’s Soccer in the Big South, the higher seed gets to host Big South Tournament games, as we saw with High Point University last year. The Panthers did not win, but because of a great regular season, they hosted the first-ever NCAA tournament game on the campus of High Point University.
Tournament time will be here soon. But for now, I have another presentation of Big South Weekly Awards for you all. In weeks past, Campbell University has dominated, and they continued to do this past week. The North Carolina-based Big South school that joined the Fightin’ Camels last week, Gardner-Webb, only obtained one weekly award this time around. The Panthers of High Point University would join the Camels and Runnin’ Bulldogs this week, obtaining two.
Let us start with football. Campbell, one of the top football programs in the Big South, took home three weekly football awards. For his pass-catching ability (and performance on Saturday against Mercer), Campbell wide receiver Davarius Bargnare took home Big South Offensive Player of the Week. Against the Mercer Bears, Bargnare caught a season-high five passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. Bargnare’s big game was Campbell’s first with a 100-yard receiver this season, and a major reason why Campbell won 34-27.
In addition to Bargnare, Campbell defensive back Kam Prewitt won Big South Defensive Player of the Week. Against Mercer, Prewitt recorded a pick-six by returning an interception 44 yards for a touchdown (Camels took a 13-0 lead), two tackles, and two pass breakups.
Campbell won one more football award: Big South Freshman of the Week, which, once again, belonged to quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams. Against the Bears, Williams threw for a season-high 266 yards (and a touchdown) on 15-28 passing, in addition to 44 yards on the ground. Williams’ biggest run of the day, a 41-yarder, sealed the victory for the Fightin’ Camels.
Now on to soccer. Starting with Women’s Soccer, it was High Point University midfielder Carsyn Gold who was named Big South Co-Attacking Player of the Week (along with Radford’s Gabs Paupst). High Point, who had been struggling up until conference play with a 1-6 record, won back-to-back games last week thanks to Gold’s efforts. Gold scored the game-winner (and only goal) in the Panthers’ big 1-0 win over rival Campbell on September 25, and the game-winner (opening goal) in a 3-0 win over USC-Upstate on September 28. Gold’s teammate, Shaylyn Owen, won Big South Defensive Player of the Week for helping limit the Fightin’ Camels and Spartans to four total shots over the course of two matches (no shots on goal for Upstate). Owen played every minute of each game.
Joining Gold and Owen for North Carolina-based schools would be Gardner-Webb goalkeeper Paula Suarez Is, who won Big South Freshman of the Week. In two victories last week (against Winthrop and Hampton), Suarez Is recorded 11 total saves. In the 3-1 win against the Eagles, Suarez Is recorded six saves. In the 1-0 shutout against the Pirates, Suarez Is recorded five, including a clutch stop with less than two minutes remaining.
In Men’s Soccer, Campbell University took home two of three awards. On the attack, Campbell forward/midfielder Thibaut Jacquel was named Big South Attacking Player of the Week for his four goals last week. In the Fightin’ Camels’ 2-0 victory against UNC-Wilmington, Jacquel recorded two goals. In the Fightin’ Camels’ 2-1 victory against conference foe Radford, Jacquel recorded two more goals, including the overtime winner in the 93rd minute. On the defensive side of the ball, Camel goalkeeper Sam Lechuga was named Big South Defensive Player of the Week. Against the Seahawks, Lechuga recorded five saves (season high) as he helped the Fightin’ Camels record a 2-0 shutout. Against the Highlanders, Lechuga made three saves.
Conference play begins for football next week, as Presbyterian travels to Buies Creek to take on Campbell. And for soccer, conference play is in full swing.
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