Trio of Spartans Take Home Historic Big Ten, Women’s National Weekly Football Awards

Story Links EAST LANSING, Michigan — Lauren DeBeau, Michigan State’s senior women’s soccer striker, was named National Player of the Week and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, while senior defenseman Raegan Cox and senior goalkeeper Lauren Kozal Big Ten- defensive player and Goalkeeper of the Week respectively, announced Tuesday. DeBeau was named National Player of the Week by both TopDrawerSoccer and College Soccer News, the first player to receive that award from multiple agencies in the program’s history. The only previous National Player of the Week honor in Spartan history was awarded by TopDrawerSoccer to Michigan State Athletics Hall-of-Famer Laura (Heyboer) Heethuis on October 13, 2008. DeBeau is the only National Player of the Week in College Soccer News in program history. The Michigan native Shelby Township was also named to each agency’s National Team of the Week, MSU’s seventh and eighth National Team of the Week awards from the 2022 campaign. DeBeau scored both of Michigan State’s goals last week, giving the Spartans took a pair of 1-0 wins over No. 17 Ohio State on the road, as well as No. 14 Rutgers in the regular season finale at DeMartin Stadium. Her 44th minute goal was enough to lift Michigan State to the first outright conference title in program history. In the next game against, DeBeau secured MSU’s fourth Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors of the season and her second individually, scoring an incredible goal with less than five minutes left against the Scarlet Knights. Her 86th-minute goal not only marked Michigan State’s first unbeaten conference season in the Big Ten, but also gave the Greens & White their first-ever victory over conference rival Rutgers. Kozal made history in the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday, setting league records for Goalkeeper of the Week honors in a career and in one season. The Ada, Michigan native took two solo shutouts and made a combined six saves in blanking the Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights. She tied a school record with her 14th goal win this season, matching Renee Richert’s mark in 1986. The senior earned her fifth career Goalkeeper of the Week honors, setting the Big Ten career record set twice before. (Rutgers’ Meagan McClelland from 2018-22 and Wisconsin’s Jordyn Bloomer from 2017-21). She received her third Goalkeeper of the Week award this season, a new conference record – a Big Ten netminder had won the award 12 times in a season since the honor was created in 2018 (including Indiana’s Jamie Gerstenberg and Penn State’s Katherine Asman , who were recipients twice this year). Cox was charged with two of the most challenging individual defensive assignments in the league, taking on Ohio’s Kayla Fischer and Rutgers’ Riley Tiernan, holding both of her opponents pointless in MSU’s 11th and 12th shutouts of the year, respectively. . With Cox anchoring the backline, MSU has risen to the top of NCAA Division I in scoring defense, yielding the best goals in any country at an average of less than .400. Cox earned her first Big Ten Player of the Week accolade in her career and was MSU’s second consecutive Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after graduate defenseman Samantha White took home that accolade on October 18. Sixth-ranked and best-seeded Michigan State returns to action on Sunday, October 30, when the Green & White welcome the eighth-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers to DeMartin Stadium in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Big Ten Tournament. MSUSpartans.com for more information about women’s soccer in Michigan State. Fans can keep up to date with the Spartan women’s soccer team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by following @MSU_WSoccer.

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