GREENSBORO, N.C. – Louisville’s Mohamed Thiaw and Virginia Tech’s Marcelo Acuna have been named the ACC Men’s Soccer Co-Offensive Players of the Week, while Louisville’s Stefan Cleveland and Virginia’s Jeff Caldwell were tabbed as Co-Defensive Players of the Week. It is the second ACC weekly award this season for all four players.
Thiaw scored a pair of goals last week for eighth-ranked Louisville, including the game-winner in Friday night’s 1-0 home triumph over No. 3 Syracuse. The junior forward from Lexington, Kentucky, opened the week by connecting for the first goal of the match in last Tuesday’s 6-0 home win against Belmont before delivering his team-leading ninth goal of the season in the victory over the Orange. Thiaw leads the nation with six game-winning goals for the Cardinals, who hold the top spot in the ACC Atlantic Division with a 4-0-1 conference mark and are 9-1-2 overall.
Acuna has continued to be an offensive spark for the Hokies as they improved to 9-2-1 on the season and 2-2-1 in the ACC. The junior forward from San Jose, Costa Rica, had his first hat trick as a Hokie against VMI on Tuesday, the first hat trick by a Virginia Tech player since 2010. It only took the junior 26 minutes to score his three goals and take all of his five shots on goal. Acuna continued his excellent play as Virginia Tech hosted Duke on Friday. He was able to get his first assist of the season early against the Blue Devils and then scored a goal unassisted during the second half off of a free kick. Acuna now has nine goals, one assist, 19 points, 53 shots and five game winners.
Cleveland posted a pair of shutouts last week, highlighted by his performance in Friday’s 1-0 victory over No. 3 Syracuse. A graduate student from Dayton, Ohio, Cleveland finished with a season-high six saves, including five in the second half as the Cardinals extended their unbeaten streak to eight games and remained atop the ACC Atlantic Division in the win over the Orange. Cleveland, who needed just one save in Louisville’s 6-0 win over Belmont, has eight shutouts this season while allowing only four goals in 12 matches for a 0.32 goals against average.
Caldwell led Virginia to a pair of wins last week, both over top-30 RPI teams, as the Cavaliers extended their unbeaten streak to four matches. The junior from Todd, North Carolina, recorded his third straight clean sheet in a win over Hofstra Tuesday night and then matched a career high with seven saves in the Cavaliers’ 2-1 victory at No. 4 North Carolina on Friday. The Cavaliers have allowed just one goal during their four-match unbeaten run.