SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota State forward Leah Manuleleua put together an eight-point weekend to collect Summit League Offensive Player of the Week honors, while South Dakota goalkeeper Parker Rytz was named the Defensive Player of the Week after helping head coach Michael Thomas pick up his first victory for the Coyotes. The weekly accolades were the first for both student-athletes.
After dropping a pair of road matches during the opening weekend, Manuleleua helped the Jackrabbits rebound with back-to-back shutouts at home over the weekend. The junior forward opened the scoring in SDSU's 8-0 blanking of Wayne State and went on to tally the ninth hat trick in program history. It was also the first multi-goal game of Manuleleua's career. In Sunday's, 1-0 victory over Drake, she finished with a team-high four shots.
Rytz was kept busy by Eastern Washington in Friday's 1-1 tie for the Coyotes. She made a career-high 11 saves against the reigning Big Sky Champions, including two in extra time to help preserve the point. Rytz picked up her second shutout of the season in Sunday's 3-0 victory at home over Chicago State, which provided Thomas with his first triumph of his USD coaching tenure. She finished the weekend with 12 saves.
Leah Manuleleua, South Dakota State
Jr. | F | Manteca, Calif.
- Posted first career hat trick and added an assist for a seven-point outing against Wayne State
- Took over the lead league in goals (3) and points (7)
- This is the first weekly honor for Manuleleua
Also nominated: Camryn Macmillan, Denver; Jordan Langenbartels, Oral Roberts; Bianca Romay, Western Illinois; Kellee Willer, South Dakota
Parker Rytz, South Dakota
Sr. | GK | Encintas, Calif.
- Made a career-high 11 saves in the 1-1 tie against Eastern Washington
- Notched league-leading second shutout in the 3-0 win over Chicago State
- This is the first weekly honor for Rytz
Also nominated: Hannah Evans, South Dakota State; Ryliegh Bohnenstiehl, Oral Roberts
Previous Players of the Week
O: Katie Moller, UND
D: Ryliegh Bohnenstiehl, ORU
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Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, 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. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 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.