After allowing just one goal over 200 minutes of action in a pair of Missouri Valley Conference matches last week, Valparaiso University sophomore goalkeeper Kezia Gesell (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Glenlawn Collegiate Institute) was named the MVC Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week this afternoon.
Gesell put together a standout effort in Valpo’s weather-delayed victory over Illinois State last Monday morning, turning away a career-best 12 shots to hold the clean sheet in a 2-0 win. The 12 saves were the most in a single match by a Valpo goalkeeper since October of 2012.
Gesell followed with six saves Saturday night as Valpo battled to a 1-1 draw with Missouri State to earn another point in conference play. The sophomore made a key save on a point-blank header in the 88th minute to preserve the 1-1 scoreline.
For the week, Gesell registered a goals against average of 0.45 and a save percentage of .947 over the two matches as Valpo picked up four points in the MVC standings. The sophomore has allowed one goal or fewer in seven of her eight starts this year and ranks second in The Valley with a 0.96 GAA this season.
The weekly award is the second of Gesell’s career, as she also received defensive weekly honors from the MVC office on Sept. 5 last season. Gesell is Valpo’s second weekly award winner this season as well, joining Cory Griffith, who was named Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 4 following a four-goal game.