ELMHURST, Ill. – Western Illinois forward Drew Whalen was named Summit League Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week, while Omaha goalkeeper Joseph Ghitis and Eastern Illinois goalie Mike Novotny garnered the Defensive Player of the Week awards for their performances Sept. 18-24.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Drew Whalen, Western Illinois
Jr. // F // Peoria, Ill.
- Collected his first Offensive Player of the Week award this season and third of his career
- Notched a pair of goals as WIU went 1-1 on the week
- Scored the game-winning goal in the 3-1 road win over league foe Fort Wayne
- Added the lone Leatherneck tally in the 2-1 loss to Drake
- Has scored a goal in the last three matches and is tied for third in the league with five goals this season
Also nominated: Federico Verlicchi, Eastern Illinois; Jorge Barrientos, Oral Roberts
Previous honorees: Aug. 28 – Elvir Ibisevic, Omaha; Sept. 5 – Elvir Ibisevic, Omaha; Sept. 11 – Emmanuel Hamzat, Omaha; Sept. 18 – Fernando Pacheco, Western Illinois
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Joseph Ghitis, Omaha
Sr. // GK // Weston, Fla.
- Earned his seventh career Defensive Player of the Week honor
- Collected his third shutout of the season and school record 14th of his career in the 0-0 double overtime draw at regionally-ranked Eastern Illinois
- Made three saves in 110:00 minutes of action
- Lowered his league-leading goals against average to 0.62 on the year
Mike Novotny, Eastern Illinois
Sr. // GK // St. Charles, Ill.
- Recorded his sixth career Defensive Player of the Week award and second of the season
- Made seven total saves on the week making five stops in the 0-0 double overtime draw against No. 13 Omaha
- Registered a pair of saves in a 2-0 loss against Wright State
Also nominated: Thibaut Giquel, Oral Roberts; Tim Trilk, Western Illinois
Previous honorees: Aug. 28 – Dan Mooney, Denver/Stephen Siy, Omaha; Sept. 5 – Mike Novotny, Eastern Illinois; Sept. 11 – Jacob Weiler, Omaha; Sept. 18 – Seth Rinderknecht, Omaha
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.