WVU Women's, Men's Players Honored

The West Virginia University women's soccer team moved up in all three national Top 25 polls and senior Ashley Banks was named to TopDrawer Soccer's Women's College Team of the Week, while men's player Jason Bristol was the Big East Defender of the Week.

The West Virginia women, 11-4-1 overall and 7-1-1 in Big East play, checks in at No. 19 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Adidas poll and the Soccer Buzz poll, and No. 23 in the Soccer America poll. Banks, a forward from Annandale, Va., was honored by TopDrawer Soccer for her eight-point effort in two games last weekend that included a hat trick at Georgetown. She is the first WVU player since Kim Bonilla (Aug. 29, 2006) to be named to TopDrawer Soccer's weekly honor. Banks, who leads the Big East in points per game (1.88), is tied for first in goals scored (11) and is fourth in assists (8) amongst conference players this season. She was also a league player of the week.

The Mountaineers have recorded their eighth straight 10-win season and have made the NCAA tournament in each of the last seven. WVU closes out the regular season with a pair of conference home matches this weekend. West Virginia welcomes USF on Friday, Oct. 26, and Marquette on Sunday, Oct. 28. Sunday's contest is also Senior Day for five student-athletes: Ashley Banks, Kim Bonilla, Natalie Cocchi, Kiley Harris and Ashley Neal.

With an eight-point lead heading into the final week of regular season play, Notre Dame has secured a National Division crown for the 11th time in 13 Big East seasons. In the American Division, Connecticut and WVU will battle it out for the regular season crown with the Huskies staring at a pair of road games, while the Mountaineers have two home contests. West Virginia, Connecticut and Marquette have clinched berths to postseason play in the American Division and WVU and UConn have clinched first-round byes. Every other team is still in the hunt for the remaining postseason spots.

The top five teams, seeded by conference point total, qualify for the Championship, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 1 on campus sites. In addition, the top three teams in each division earn a first round bye to the quarterfinals scheduled for Nov. 4. This year's championship will be held in Morgantown, W.Va., on Nov. 9 and 11.

Bristol, a sophomore for the WVU men, was named Big East Defender of the Week announced conference officials today. The Mountaineers went 1-1 last weekend falling to Navy on Oct. 16, before defeating then-No. 1 Connecticut in front of a home crowd of 1,773. Bristol scored his first game-winning goal in his first collegiate start against the Huskies. Bristol played in just his second game of the 2007 season in WVU's win over the Huskies on Oct. 19. The defensive back helped hold the Huskies to just four shots on goal and limited the league's leading scorer O'Brian White to one shot on goal. Bristol added the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute on a header off a free kick. The honor is the fifth time this season that a Mountaineer has been chosen Player of the Week.

WVU travels to Marquette on Wed., Oct. 24 for a mid-week conference match up. Kick off is at 8 p.m. EST at Valley Fields in Milwaukee, Wis. Marquette currently sits at eighth in the Blue Division standings with a 2-10-2 overall record, 1-7-0 in conference play. West Virginia is third with a 9-5 overall record, holding a 5-3 advantage in Big East play. MU and WVU have only met twice on the field since the Golden Eagles joined the conference in 2005. The Mountaineers hold a 2-0 overall record against Marquette. Last season, WVU defeated MU 4-0 at home.

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