Following a 1-0-1 road trip to western Pennsylvania, the Valpo soccer team picked up a pair of pieces of hardware from the Missouri Valley Conference office on Monday. Sophomore Kelsie James (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) was tabbed the MVC Player of the Week, while freshman Abby White (Commerce Township, Mich./Walled Lake Central) earned the conference’s Freshman of the Week award.
James was in on three of Valpo's four goals last weekend. She put Valpo on top early with a 17th-minute goal Friday evening at Duquesne. Then, after the Dukes had scored two second-half goals to take the lead, James unleashed a perfectly-struck free kick from 30 yards out in the 80th minute to equalize the match and complete her first career brace. On Sunday, James delivered the assist on Valpo's match-winning goal at Robert Morris in the 74th minute to complete a five-point weekend. In six career matches against non-MVC opponents, James now owns five goals and an assist.
White made her first collegiate goal a big one on Sunday afternoon, coming all the way up from her left-back position to drill home the match-winner from close range in the 74th minute, completing the Beacons’ 2-1 come-from-behind win over Robert Morris. The rookie played 184 of a possible 200 minutes as well.
James, who was a three-time MVC Freshman of the Week herself last season, becomes the first Valpo player to earn the conference’s Player of the Week award since Lauren Torhorst did so in the final week of the 2019 regular season. Meanwhile, White is just the third different Valpo player to be named the MVC Newcomer/Freshman of the Week since the program joined the conference prior to the 2017 season.