Oct. 30, 2012
Montana senior goalkeeper Kristen Hoon was named the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday by the league office. The award is the second of the fall for Hoon and the fifth Big Sky offensive or defensive player of the week award for the Grizzlies this season.
On a week when only five of the Big Sky's 10 soccer-playing teams were in action, Hoon was recognized for helping Montana to a 1-0 victory at Utah Valley Friday night in the Grizzlies' lone match of the week and final match of the regular season. Hoon needed to make just a single save in the match.
The shutout, the team's 11th of the season, continued an ongoing trend. Montana has posted six straight shutouts, one off the program record of seven set in 1996. The No. 3 Grizzlies will take a shutout streak of 548 minutes into Friday's Big Sky Conference tournament semifinal matchup against No. 2 Portland State.
Friday's shutout was Hoon's ninth of the season, a mark that ties Natalie Hiller's single-season program record from 2000. Hoon also started and played all but 24 minutes in Montana's other two shutouts, 4-0 blowout victories against North Dakota and Eastern Washington.
(Note: The NCAA requires a keeper to play the entire match and be solely responsible to earn a shutout.)
Hoon has allowed just 16 goals this season while playing 1,727 minutes in net, a goals-against average of 0.83. That figure would be the second-best average in program history, ranking behind only Railene Thorson's 0.42 goals against average from 1996.
Hoon had a goals-against average of 1.36 while playing in 18 matches as a junior.
"I think a lot of Kristen's improvement comes down to her dedication toward wanting to be a better goalkeeper and putting in the necessary time," said UM goalkeepers coach Lauren Robertson, who has worked with Hoon the last two seasons.
"She's so coachable that she's just soaking everything in, and it's making her a better goalkeeper every day. She has a better knowledge of the game, and she's improved her communication with her defenders and her understanding what's happening in front of her."
Southern Utah forward Stacey Brinkman was named this week's Offensive Player of the Week after scoring the double-overtime goal that gave the Thunderbirds a 3-2 victory over visiting Cal State Bakersfield. Brinkman's 19th career goal made her the SUU all-time leader in goals scored.
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