Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State Nab Weekly Honors

Sept. 14, 2009

Matt Eliason (Northwestern) was tabbed Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and Avery Steinlage (Michigan State) and Chris Blais (Michigan) shared the honor for Defensive Player of the Week for games played from Sept. 7-13, the conference office announced today.

Offensive Player of the Week:

Matt Eliason, Northwestern
Junior Forward - Lombard, Ill. - Glenbard East
Matt Eliason garners his second player of the week laurel after posting five goals and ten points, scoring at least once in each of the Wildcats' three contests last week. For his efforts, Eliason was named MVP of the adidas/Magnuson Inn and Suites Invitational and was also tabbed Top Drawer Soccer's National Player of the Week.  After tying the game in the second half with a goal against DePaul on Monday, Eliason led Northwestern to the tournament title by helping the Wildcats defeat a pair of opponents that appeared in last year's NCAA tournament. On Friday, Eliason tallied two first-half goals as NU defeated Oakland 2-1. Then on Sunday against 21st-ranked Tulsa, he gave his squad a second-half lead by converting a penalty kick before notching the game-winning goal with 1:19 remaining in the first overtime to seal the Wildcat victory. Eliason currently leads the Big Ten with seven goals in just four games so far this season.

Last Northwestern Offensive Player of the Week: Matt Eliason (Sept. 15, 2008)

Co-Defensive Players of the Week:

Avery Steinlage, Michigan State
Junior Goalkeeper  - Grand Haven, Mich. - Spring Lake
Avery Steinlage collects his first weekly award of the season and third overall after recording two shutouts over the weekend to improve his NCAA consecutive shutout minutes record to 1,165:08. The junior goalkeeper played all 90 minutes in the Spartans 2-0 win over Lipscomb on Friday, tallying four saves, including three in the second half. He then added one save in 76:21 minutes of action in Sunday's 4-0 triumph over Wright State to extend his shutout minutes streak by an additional 167:21. The Grand Haven, Mich., native remains perfect in net dating back to Oct. 15, 2008, tallying nine shutouts in the Spartans' last 12 games.

Last Michigan State Defensive Player of the Week: Avery Steinlage (Nov. 3, 2008)

Chris Blais, Michigan
Junior Goalkeeper - Seattle, Wash. - Kennedy Memorial
In his first season as Michigan's starting goalkeeper, Chris Blais was named to the Michigan Invitational All-Tournament team for his two shutout wins over the weekend. The junior goalkeeper held U-M opponents scoreless in a total 180 minutes in net, marking his third career shutout. On Friday, the Seattle, Wash., native posted three saves to give the Wolverines the 3-0 edge over Wright State. He then followed that performance by tallying an additional five saves against Lipscomb on Sunday, totaling eight stops over the weekend. The award marks the first weekly accolade of Blais' career. 

Last Michigan Defensive Player of the Week: Michael Holody (Oct. 27, 2008)