Paul Leitlet's (Munster, Ind./Munster) four-goal, two-assist weekend has netted the midfielder a couple more awards, as he has today been named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Soccer Times National Player of the Week.
The sophomore was a part of six of Valpo's seven goals over the weekend, and recorded the first hat trick since Bryan McCulloch in 1995 in the Brown and Gold's wild 5-4 double-overtime win over Evansville on Sunday.
But Leitelt did his first damage on Friday, assisting on Valpo's season-opening goal in the 9th minute and blasting home a free kick in the second half of the 2-0 Crusader win over DePaul.
On Sunday, Leitelt carried Valpo back from a pair of two-goal deficits in regulation and sent the game to overtime with a point-blank marker in the 89th minute. Then in the second overtime, Leitelt narrowly missed a fourth goal when his free kick ricocheted off the Evansville keeper and onto the waiting foot of Steve Shively (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) who gave the Crusaders another win.
Leitelt is the first player in school history to be named a National Player of the Week and has also earned the Mid-Continent Conference's Offensive Player of the Week award and placed on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.
The sophomore has scored as many goals in 2006 (4) as he did in all of 2005, and has doubled his assist total from his freshman campaign. Leitelt's eight career goals are more than any current Crusader except seniors Jon Brighton (Warner Robins, Ga./Houston County), who has 10, and D.J. Catrow (Springfield, Ohio/Catholic Central), who also has eight.
The Crusaders, off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 1987, are in California this weekend for the Copa de Causeway Tournament. Valpo will meet UC-Davis Saturday at 7:00 p.m. before squaring off with Sacramento State on Monday at 2:00 p.m.