DENVER – UMKC women’s soccer forward Rylan Childers (Grain Valley, Mo.) and goalkeeper Afton Fennewald (Lake Winnebago, Mo.) have been recognized as the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week by the league office on Monday. The awards marked the first time in the 2018 season that UMKC players have claimed both weekly honors.
Childers and Fennewald each played major roles in helping guide the Roos to a perfect 2-0 start to WAC for the season, picking up a pair of shutout victories over UT Rio Grande Valley and CSU Bakersfield by a combined score of 7-0. Several newcomers have played their way into significant roles mid-way through the 2018 campaign, chipping in alongside a talented returning to squad to post a program-best 10-3 record through the club’s first 13 matches.
“Rylan and Afton each had phenomenal weekends and are extremely deserving of these individual honors and I am very proud of them,” commented head coach Chris Cissell. “I am also extremely proud of our entire UMKC women’s soccer family after putting together a great weekend which helped make these accolades possible.”
Childers has been one of the top offensive threats for the Roos this season and has been particularly effective in the past few weeks. In the two weekend victories, the freshman forward notched three goals and recorded two assists for a team-best eight points. Over the previous five matches, Childers has struck for five goals and two assists and sits tied-fourth in the WAC with six goals and second in the conference with seven assists and 19 points in her first season on campus.
Fennewald has made the start between the posts in UMKC’s past seven contests and came through with an excellent weekend performance to open WAC play. The freshman keeper logged a career-high 11 saves in the win over UTRGV before securing her third shutout of the season against CSU Bakersfield. On the year, Fennewald boasts a 7-1 record in net with a team-best .791 save percentage and 1.00 goals against average.
“I always say this because it’s so true, you can only earn individual honors and awards when the team is playing great and enjoying success,” noted Cissell. “These honors for Rylan and Afton are tremendous and we are all so happy for them but they would be the first to tell you that these are team awards.”
UMKC resumes play at Durwood Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 7 when the team hosts WAC foe New Mexico State. The match is set for a 1 p.m. CT start time.
– UMKC –