Colorado Springs, Colo. --- After a week in which she posted a 0.49 goal against average and had UNM’s first penalty kick save in 11 years to preserve a 1-0 win, sophomore keeper Cassie Ulrich was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week by the league office.
It’s the first career award for Ulrich, and the first time a Lobo has been honored this season. San Diego State’s Hannah Keane earned her second straight Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week award as well.
Ulrich, in her first season as a starter with the Lobos after redshirting in 2011 and not seeing any action in 2012, recorded four saves in a 2-1 overtime win over San Jose State, including on stop in the overtime period. Against Fresno State on Sunday, she recorded her fourth shutout of the season, and second in three games, with for more saves. No of those were bigger than the penalty kick save in the 53rd minute not long after UNM had taken a 1-0 lead. Ulrich dove to her right and smothered the shot.
It was the first save of a penalty kick by a UNM goalkeeper since Kristen Winters in 2002.
“She played well and she earned the right,” said head coach Kit Vela. “She kept us out of a tie game on Sunday with her save on the penalty kick, and she kept us in the game on Friday. She has done a great job of growing and maturing.”
The Lobos, who improved to 4-7-1 overall and 2-0-0 in the Mountain West, have just a single game this week, a road contest at Colorado State on Sunday at 1 p.m. Ulrich for the season leads the Mountain West with 56 saves, and her 0.89 goals against average is third in the league.