Thiaw, Salandy-Defour, and Cleveland Earn ACC Weekly Honors
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Louisville’s Mohamed Thiaw and Virginia’s Marcus Salandy-Defour have been named the ACC Men’s Soccer Co-Offensive Players of the Week, while Louisville’s Stefan Cleveland was tabbed as Defensive Player of the Week.
A junior forward from Lexington, Kentucky, Thiaw scored his fourth goal of the season to lift Louisville to a 1-0 victory over No. 1 Notre Dame on Friday night at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium. The only goal of the match came in the 25th minute after Joey Kunkel delivered a deep ball across the midline to Thiaw, who won the ball in the air before connecting on a right-footed lob over Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Hubbard. The perfectly placed shot was out of the reach of Hubbard and tucked beneath the crossbar. Overall, Thiaw leads the Cardinals (5-1-1, 2-0-0 ACC) with four goals this season, including two against ACC foes.
After suffering an offseason knee injury, Salandy-Defour returned to the pitch last week and made an immediate impact as Virginia scored six goals on the week, matching its total from the previous three weeks combined. The senior forward from Kensington, Maryland, started and played 32 minutes in his first match back on Wednesday against VCU and was a huge factor in UVA’s Saturday draw with No. 6 Clemson. Just 81 seconds into the game, he turned a turnover into a breakaway and beat the goalkeeper. In the second half with UVA trailing 3-1, he made a run to the top of the box and ripped a low shot to score his second goal of the match and record his first career brace. The Cavaliers (3-1-2, 0-1-1 ACC) rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a result for the first time since Nov. 15, 2013, in the ACC semifinals against Notre Dame.
Cleveland registered a pair of shutouts in goal last week, capped by Friday’s 1-0 triumph over No. 1 Notre Dame. A graduate student from Dayton, Ohio, Cleveland turned away all three shots he faced from the previously unbeaten Fighting Irish to lead the Cardinals to their third straight victory. On Tuesday, Cleveland had a pair of saves in Louisville’s 2-0 victory over Xavier. Cleveland has five shutouts on the season, including three straight, and has allowed only two goals in seven matches for a 0.28 goals against average.