DeLand, Fla. - Stetson junior midfielder Kai Eckenrode (Springfield, Va.) was named Atlantic Sun Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Week and tabbed to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week on Monday for his three-goal outburst over the past six days. This is the first such recognition of Eckenrode's career.
Eckenrode began his week with a late goal in the 85th minute that allowed the Hatters to tie 1-1 with ninth-ranked UCF on Tuesday at the Stetson Soccer Complex. That draw was Stetson's second result against a Top 25 opponent in 2011 (coupled with a 3-2 win over #15 Penn State on September 2 in Columbus, Ohio) and served as the first home match for the Hatters against a Top 25 team since 1997.
Following a 2-0 win at UNF on Friday, Eckenrode then led Stetson's charge to the finish line of A-Sun play with two goals in Sunday's 4-3 overtime win at Jacksonville, including a game-tying score in the second half and the golden goal in the 94th minute of overtime. That win finished off a 6-0-2 month of October for the Hatters and gave them the #2 seed and a bye into the semifinals of the upcoming A-Sun tournament (Nov. 9-13 in Johnson City, Tennessee). Eckenrode now has four goals and five assists on the year for 17 points, good for third on the team.
Eckenrode is the second Hatter in as many seasons to earn National Team of the Week honors as current senior forward Ryan Asare-Bediako (Tampa, Fla.) was similarly honored by College Soccer News on October 11, 2010.
The Hatters, riding an eight-match unbeaten streak, close out the regular season at 7:00 pm Saturday, November 5 at home against Nebraska-Omaha. The match will be Senior Night for Asare-Bediako and fellow upperclassmen Dan Billman (Troy, Mo.), Gonzalo de Mujica (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Matt Delisle (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Joakim Helland (Bergen, Norway) and Stephan Ledain (Mississauga, Ont.). Live Stats and Hatter Vision will be available at GoHatters.com.
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